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^', ■.■»:! > • 

pbtlosopbtcal Classics 


JSnoltsb IReabets. 


Professor of Moral Philosophy in the 
University'of St Andrews. 



By Professor J. P. MAHAFFY, Dublin. 
Crown 8vo, with Portrait. Ss. 6d. 

8t James's Gkuette. 

''Mr Mahaffy leads off with an exceedingly interesting volume 

He is not only familiar with the writings of Descartes, but is able to 
estimate them with an exact appreciation of their bearing on the 
labours of later thinkers." 


" He goes for himself to the original sources, and while independ- 
ently sifting the available evidence (including the results of later 
researches), is able, with his practised pen, to present a really at- 
tractive sketch of the man and all his varied activity." 


" The life is excellently .told. The clear and bright style of 
the Professor accords well with the varied incidents of his hero's 



B U T L E E. 


Hon. Canon of Peterborough. 
Crown 8vo, with Portrait. 3s. 6d. 

Edinburgh Daily Review. 

" There is a wonderful' freshness in the Author's painstaking 
analysis, which not only elucidates the course of the argument, bul 
seems to impart to it new force. There is, perhaps, no work ir 
which the wnole scope and bearing of the * Analogy ' is so clearl) 
and concisely set forth as in the two admirable chapters which Mi 
Collins devotes to that part of his subject." 




Professor of Logic and Metaphysics in the University of Edinburgh. 
Crown 8vo, with Portrait. 3s. 6d. 


"Is not only admirably conceived and executed for the more 
immediate purposes of the series, but has a permanent philoso- 
phical value The volume may be strongly recommended to the 

attention of all philosophical readers." 

'"■ -i\^'> 

F I C H T E. 


Professor of Logic in the Owens College, Victoria University, Manchester. 
Crown 8vo, with Portrait. 3s. 6d. 


"It is characterised by a mastery of method and a clearness oj 
exposition which render it a real introduction to the works of the 
philosopher. ' " 

WILLIAM BLACKWOOD & SONS, Edis^\3B.q.u KSTi \.ci^^o^. 

|l^il0S0p|^kal €hBBm for ^nglisj^ "^.tntitxB 








. >. ■• J 




k . » ■ .» 






A FEW words stand here by way of explanation and 

The biography (in which the quotation of authorities 
or reference to them would have necessitated a doubling 
of the allotted space) is founded on Schubert's life of 
Kant, and on the early memoirs, which have been 
largely corrected and added to in accordance with more 
recent information. Special mention on this head is 
due to Professor Benno Erdmann's essays on Knutzen 
and the *Kritik;' to Dr Emil Amoldt's sketch of 
Kant's early life; and to several articles in different 
numbers of the * Altpreussische Monatsschrift/ For 
the communication of the last I am indebted to the 
kindness of Dr Eudolf Eeicke of Konigsberg, whose 
devotion to Kant is known to all brethren of the craft, 
and whose promised edition of the philosopher's corre- 
spondence will enable the last thirty years of his life to 
be written with more fuhiess than heretofore. 

The account of Kant's philosophy is founded directly 
on his own works. Chapter viii. gives glimpses of his 
scientific theories; chapter ix. notes the more salient 
points in his metaphysical views ui^ to \1^^\ OwK^'^'Si^ 


u analyses the first quarter of the ' Kritik der reinen 
Vcmunft ; ' chapter idi suma up the teaults of the rest 
of that work ; chapter Triii. deals with the first part of 
the ' Kritik der Urtheilskraft,' the second part of which 
is connected in chapter xiv. with the two chief ethical 
treatises. The 'Prolegomena' and the ' Metaphysiecha 
Anfangsgriinde der NaturwisaenBchaf t ' are passed by; 
the ' Religion innerlialb der Grenzen der blossen 1 
nunft' is briefly alluded to in the life; mid the latei 
CBsaya, hke the lectures, are only mentioned. 

There have within the last five years been published 
in England many works on Kanti The present little 
book has been partly shaped by the desire not to tread. 
more than was inevitable on ground they had already 
occupied with greater plenitude. Those who a 
study Kant more profoundly will find a penetrating 
exposition of liia central doctrine in Dr Hutchisoa 
Stirling j an eloquent and suggeative account of the fiiat- 
' Kritik ' in Professor Caird ; a well-reasoned resumS. 
of the theoretical and moral philosophy in Profesaof 
Adamson ; and on able and elaborate review of current 
English opinion on Kant in Professor Watson. And' 
these ai-e only the wotks of larger dimensioua on this: 
topic. Those who may wish to read Kant in transla- 
tioas may be safely referred (in addition to oldee 
versions by Seikiple, Heywood, and Meiklejohn) to Pro- 
fessor Mtthaffy's translation of the 'Prolegomena,' &c.; 
to Professor Abbott's rendering of the Moral treatiaes ; 
and to Professor Max Mijller's centenary translation of 
the first edition of the 'Kritik.' 

























In the records of philosophy it is a rare thing to find 
much said of the local habitations of philosophers. The 
world in which they are supposed to be most at home 
is an abstract world — the invisible kingdom of ideas, 
freed from the limitations of particular place and par- 
ticular tima They work their achievements by the 
impersonal agency of booka In the crowd which pur- 
sues the several avocations of a complex civilisation, 
their individuality leaves no trace. No single place is 
associated with the names of Aristotle or of Descartes, 
of Locke or Leibnitz. It is only in very special circum- 
stances that the city of a philosopher has interest for his 

There are, however, exceptions In the ancient 
world the life and work of Socrates would be barely 
intelligible without some picture of Athenian society 

p. — V. A 

in the fifth century Ra And the city of Konigaberg 

forma an almost equally significant background i 

life of Kant. It was there, on tho 22il April 1724, 

that he was bom ; there in its schools and univereity 

that he waa educated ; there that he was for nearly fifty 

years a public teacher; anil there, on the 12th February— 

1804, that he died, in hia eightieth year. For a 

nine years only of this period was his lot east oatsidt 

Konigsbeig; and even in those years 

the frontiers of East Pruaain, the province of whiol; 

Kiinigsberg is the capital Kant is therefore in 

senae the philosopher of Koaigabei^ : and that city n 

to tho imaginative enthueiaat have 

.called the City of tlie Pure Reason. Hia name e 

fame stiU cling to the place which, while he waa alivo^ 

looked up half in admiration, half in curiosity, to Pro- ' 

feasor Eant as its hero and ornament 

Even at the present day Kiinigsberg haa aomcwhat 
of an out-of-the-world situation. It stands about 36( 
miles to the north-east of Berlin, and about 100 i 
from the Bussian border, in a province where the Oee>fl 
raun element ia flanked by the Lithuanian nationalil^l 
on the one hand and by the Slavonic on the otihe&fl 
The river Pregel, on which it stands, falls into 1 
shallow waters of the Frisches Haff a few miles belov j| 
and communication with the Baltic is found at Pillaa^ 
where the EafT joins with that sea, about thirty mQea 
from Konigaberg. The town, intersected by the branchea 
of the Pregel and hy the Schlossteich, gradually rises fromtf 
the river to the north and north-west * 
which a view of tlie Hoff can be obtained. 
fied town, with a population of more than 120,000, ^ 

East Prussia, 3 

a garrison of about 7000, and a university attended by 
about 700 students. 

But in the middle of last century, Kdnigsberg, though 
a smaller place, was probably a more important factor 
in the intellectual life of the district north-east of the 
Vistula. The Eussian Colossus had not yet thrown its 
fatal shadow over the Teutonic borderlands. Poland 
had not yet been partitioned between its powerful 
neighbours, and Courland still owed a certain allegiance 
to the Polish throne. In fact, there still seemed to 
survive a sort of spiritual image of the union which, 
under the Grand-masters of the Teutonic Order at Marien- 
burg, had embraced the lands between the Oder and 
the Gulf of Finland. Konigsberg in this period gravi- 
tated .towards the Baltic provinces — as they are now 
styleji — of Kussia, more than towards Brandenburg. 
Eiga, Mitau, Libau — the chief towns of Courland — 
again and again appear in the lives of the scholars of 
East Prussia. It is to Courland and Livonia that Hamann 
and Herder — not to mention others of Kant's contem- 
poraries — ^betake themselves when their Lehrjahre are 
over. Hartknoch, the bookseller of Eiga, who published 
the * Kritik der reinen Vemunft,' was a worthy instru- 
ment in promoting the enlightenment of the whole 
country. And on the other hand, the province of East 
Prussia — ^the old duchy of Prussia, of which Konigsberg 
was the chief town, and from which the electors of 
Brandenburg had borrowed the title of their royalty — 
was then cut off from the other lands of the Prussian 
crown by an intervening tract of ahen ground. Up to 
the year 1772, when the first partition of Poland was 
carried out, the district south of Danzig axv.^ ^SSc«i% — 

4 Kant 

what was subsequently formed into the province of 
West Prussia — was still included among the territories 
belonging to the anarchic kingdom of Poland. For two- 
thirds of what is now the railway route from Berlin to 
Konigsberg the traveller would have been on Polish 
soiL Friedrich Wilhelm L had done his best to cherish 
and develop the economy of East Prussia : he had set- 
tled its deserted lands with exiles from other parts of 
the empire. About 20,000 Protestants, for example, 
who had been obliged for religion's sake to quit Salzburg, 
were introduced by his forethought to fill up in part the 
enormous gaps made in the population of East Prussia 
by the plague of 1709 and 1710, when nearly 250,000 
are said to have fallen victims to its violence. 

East Prussia was governed by a ministry in Konigs- 
berg, under the superintendence of the Council of State 
at Berlin. At the beginning of every new reign, the 
sovereign visited the town to receive the homage of 
his subjects in the court of the grand old castle. But 
for a long period during the eighteenth century East 
Prussia lost the favour of its king, and was denied the 
grace of his presence. During the struggles of the 
Seven Years' War, the province was for about five years 
— from January 1758 till the autumn of 1762 — in the 
possession of the Russians. Konigsberg was adminis- 
tered by a Eussian governor, and the great hall which 
the Muscovites added to the Schloss seemed to indicate 
that in their opinion the connection between the Prus- 
sian province and Brandenburg was severed for ever. 
Frederick the Great never forgave the East Prussians 
for what he seems to have considered a defection ; and 
though the Russians quitted the province in 1763, after 

University of Konigsberg. 5 

the peace of Hubertusburg, he never set foot in it for 
the remaining twenty-one years of his life. In the year 
1786, when the homagings to the new king, Friedrich 
Wilhehn IL, took place, we shall see Kant as rector 
of the university for the year taking part in the pro- 

In 1544 Albert Duke of Prussia (Hinter-Preussen), 
who also introduced the Reformation into these parts, 
founded at Konigsberg a imiversity, hence known as the 
Albertina. About the year 1780 it numbered thirty- 
eight professora The university buildings were then 
situated in the vicinity of the cathedral, in the Kneip- 
hof, an island surrounded by two arms of the PregeL 
The professors, however, mainly taught in their own 
rooms or houses in different parts of the city : thus, as 
we shall see, Kant's lecture-room was first in his lodg- 
ings and later in his house. Konigsberg, which in 1781 
had a population of 54,000, exclusive of garrison and 
foreigners, was esteemed a large town ; and " large 
towns," says the historian of the University of Konigs- 
berg, " have the advantage that the professors, by their 
services at the churches or the courts, or in medical 
practice or otherwise, have some opportunity of making 
up for their defective stipends, and are not compelled 
for the sake of bread to burden the learned world with 
useless and superfluous writinga" An advantage of a 
somewhat dubious character 1 At least one professor in 
the end of the eighteenth century could say that to hold 
a professorship in Konigsberg was as good as taking a 
vow of poverty. 

There were two ways of looking at Konigsberg as a 
home. By the literary man, turning with ea^et '^^^^xi- 

6 Kant. 

iug towards Leipsic, which, for the earlier two-thirds i 
the eighteenth century, waa the intellectual and eepj 
oially the literary centre of Germany, Konigsberg i 
not unnaturally described as a Scholar's Siberia (ein 
gelehrtes Sihinen) ; and with some pardonable exag- J 
geration, it might be asserted that books, like c 
allowed years to elapse between one appearance in I 
Leipsic and a second when they managed to reach I 
Prussia. Kant himself could feel this isolation froi 
the world of letters; yet, on the other hand, he hi 
given expression to the optimistic view of the aituatioo 
"A lai^e town," he says, "the centre of a kingdom, il 
which are situated the ministries of the local goven 
ment, which lias a university (for the culture of thi 
sciences), and which, moreover, possesses a site euitabl 
for maritime trade,— which by means of rivers favom 
intercommunication with the interior of the i 
not less than with the remote lands on the frontiei 
lands of different languages and customs, — such a 
like Konigsberg on the river Pregel, may be taken as 
suitable spot for extending not merely a knowledge o 
men, but even a knowledge of the world, so far as it i 
possible to acquire the latter without travelhng." 

The Konigsberg of last century is redolent of a fre 
democratic air. The town and the university, the mei 
chant and the scholar, the teacher and the statesmsui 
meet on the same platform, and interchange theit idea 
as a common currency. There is less of the separatioi 
of ranks, less of the isolation of professions, than one i 
prepared to expect. Man meets man on the universi 
field of intelligent human interests. In the salons a 
the highest Konigsberg society, the sons of the peoph 

Social Injlv^nces, 7 

like Kant, Hamann, and Kraus, meet and mingle freely 
with the rich and the high-bom of the land The result 
is seen in the noble independence of Schefl5ier, — in the 
lofty republicanism of Kant. There have been few 
cities where the mayor has been a successful cultivator 
of literature ; where an excise officer has been a half- 
prophetic sage, the frielid of Jacobi and Lavater ; where 
its commercial magnates have been intimate associates 
of its philosophic teachers. Eemoved by its distance 
from the malignant atmosphere of the Court, Konigs- 
beig, unlike most of the universities of Germany, fos- 
tered among its citizens a sense that they formed a 
united republic, including as rival but friendly forces 
the interests of commerce, learning, and civic adminis- 




Kant, who has repeatedly acknowledged the powerful 
stimulus by which the Scotchman, David Hume, shook 
him from his dogmatic slumber in philosophy, was also, 
according to family tradition and his own belief, himself 
of Scotch descent His father, Johann Georg Kantj 
who was bom at Memel in 1683, but afterwards settled 
at Konigsberg, spoke of his ancestors as having come from 
Scotland. Kant himself, towards the close of his life, 
when his fame had spread abroad, one day received 
from the Bishop of Linkoping, in Sweden, a letter 
informing him that his father was a Swede, who had 
served as a subaltern officer in the Swedish army in the 
beginning of the century, and had afterwards emigrated 
to Grermany. In his draft for a reply to this letter 
Kant states his own belief as follows : " That my grand- 
father, who resided as a citizen in the Prusso-Lithuanian 
town of Tilsit, was of Scottish descent ; that he was one 
of many emigrants, who for some reason or other left 
their country in great crowds at the end of the last and 
the beginning of the present century, and of whom a 
considerable part stopped by the way in Sweden, whilst 

Scotch Descent, 9 

others spread themselves in Prussia, particularly about 
Memel and Tilsit (as is proved by the family names, 
such as Douglas, Simpson, Hamilton, &c., still found in 
Prussia) — of this I was perfectly aware." 

A direct and detailed confirmation of the belief which 
the philosopher thus expressed in his seventy-third year, 
cannot be given, but there can be no real doubts as to his 
Scotch origin. It is said even that he, Hke his father, 
at first spelled his name with a C (Cant), and only 
changed it to prevent his townspeople calling him Tsant. 
But this can scarcely be right As a matter of fact, his 
name is entered on the books of his school (the Colle- 
gium Fridericianum) spelled as Kant, Cante, Candt, not 
to mention other variations.^ There is indeed no direct 
trace of his ancestors in Scotland ; but that, considering 
their probable position in life, is not to be wondered at. 
The only Scottish Cant known to fame is the Eev. An- 
drew Cant of Aberdeen, an energetic and zealous adver- 
sary of the Episcopalian innovations, and one of the 
northern leaders of the Covenanting party in the middle 
of the seventeenth century. 

But though precise indications are wanting, numerous 
facts serve to confirm and explain the connection. One 
of Kant's younger contemporaries, a Professor Kraus, 
had, as he tells us, for grandmother, the widow of a 
Scotch emigrant named Sterling. In the seventeenth 
century Poland seems to have offered to Scotch emigra- 
tion the same opportimity as is now sought further afield 
in America. There was at that period a considerable 

1 What is more ; even his grandfather is entered (1678) as Hans 
Eand or Kant in the vestry-book at Memel. The philosopher himself 
matriculated at the nniversity as Emanuel K»iid\i« 

10 KdrU. 

Scotch colony at Danzig. In 1624 (August 30), Patrick 
Gordon, a sort of Scotch consul or agent there, brings 
the disorderiy state of the immigrants under the notice 
of James L ; and several Scotch merchants of the place 
at the same date complain of the " exorbitant numbers 
of young boys and maids, unable for any service, trans- 
ported here yearly, but especially this summer." The 
Danzigers threatened to expel their disorderly colo- 
nists; and the old historian of the town denounces 
Old-Scotland {Alt-ScTiottland, still the name of a southern 
suburb of Danzig) as a true " scathe or scaud " to the 
place (as a Schadrland), Another Patrick Grordon, who 
subsequently became a Eussian general, landed at Danzig 
about thirty years later to seek his fortime, and found 
his compatriots abounding not merely there, but at 
Braunsborg, Poson, and in Poland generally. It is thus 
that a Scotch traveller of the period, William Lithgow, 
speaks of Poland : " For auspiciousness I may rather 
term it to bo a mother and nurse for the youth and j 
younglings of Scotland than a proper dame for her own i 
birth, in clothing, feeding, and enriching them with the ' 
fatness of ]ior best things, besides thirty thousand Scots 
families that live incorporate in her bowels." Another 
writer puts it loss favourably when he tells how " Scot- 
land, by reason of hor populousness, being constrained 
to disburden horstjlf (like the painful bees), did every 
year send forth Rwanns, whereof groat numbers did 
haunt Pole with the nioHt extreme kind of drudgery (if 
not dying under the biirdeu), scraping a few crumbs 
together." Scotch inercluintfl also settled largely in 
Sweden in the samo agt^ And if wo turn from com- 
merce to mercenary warfare, wo find more than seventy 

PareTUage. 11 


Scotch names, from the grade of colonel upwards, figuring 
in the army-lists of Gustavus Adolphus. 

Kant's father, like his grandfather, was by trade a 
strap-maker (a belt and thong cutter, distinct from the 
saddler's business), and worked for himself in a small 
way in his house in or near the Saddler-Street in the 
Fore-Suburb. He married in 1715 Anna Kegina Keuter, 
daughter of another strap-maker in the town ; and from 
this union sprang nine children, of whom, however, only 
five survived the years of infancy. Of these, Immanuel, 
bom in 1724, was the second. He had three sisters, one 
older than himself, who died unmarried, and two younger. 
The latter married humbly in Konigsberg : one of them, 
who was left a widow shortly after her marriage, became 
in the closing months of his life the nurse and attendant 
of her elder brother. Immanuel had also a younger 
brother, eleven years his junior. We hear of this 
brother (Johann Heinrich) attending the lectures of 
Immanuel at the imiversity, and of the two brothers 
being sometimes seen exchanging a word after lecture. 
After his university career was ended, the younger 
brother spent his next years as tutor in various Cour- 
land families, and died in 1800 as village pastor at 

Immanuel Kant was bom on the 22d April (which in 
the East-Prussian calendar figures as the day of Emanuel), 
at five o'clock on a Saturday morning, and baptised next 
day. There is but little to be told of his parents. 
" Kever, not even once, have I had to hear my parents 
say an unbecoming word, or do an unworthy act," was 
the witness of the son in after years. " No misunder- 
standing ever disturbed the harmony of th^ h.o\x&^\i^W 

12 Karvt, 

He remembered how, when his father had to mention 
trade disputes between the guilds of 'the saddlers and 
the strap-makers, his words breathed nothing but patience 
and fairness. Honesty, truth, and domestic peace charao- 
terised this homa Of his mother in particular Kant 
always spoke in terms of reverent tendemesa She 
seems to have been fairly well educated ; and it was her 
delight to take her son, her Manelclien (little 'Manuel), 
into the country, and teach him the names and pro- 
perties of plants, and to explain what she understood of 
the mysteries of the skies and stars. Above all, she 
was a deeply religious woman. There were fixed hours 
for prayer in her household Like many others, rich 
and poor, in Germany during this period, she had been 
caught up in the current of a religious revival, which, 
like all such movements, has had much evil as well as 
much good said of it Its good side was, that it sought 
to be a vital religion, and not a mere system of dogmas : 
it tried to carry out in the conduct of life what the current 
orthodoxy was content to recognise in word and form. 
Its evil side was to attach an exaggerated importance to 
certain prescribed attitudes and feelings towards God, 
and thus to produce a morbid, over-sensitive, and even 
fanatical habit of mind As the protest of religious 
emotion against ecclesiastical indifFerentism, it had de- 
servedly won adherents throughout the land ; and per- 
haps the circumstance that Friedrich Wilhelm L was 
decidedly in sympathy with its rigorous morality and 
earnest faith, might not be without effect in increasing 
the numbers of its adherents. 

This new movement, known in history by the name 
or nickname of Pietism, had made considerable progress 

F. A. Schvltz. 13 

at Konigsberg. This success was chiefly due to two 
men, both of them educational reformers. The earlier, 
J. H. Lysius, was the first director of a new school 
which had been set up at Konigsberg imder Pietistic 
influenca Endowed by special privilege with the title 
of a royal school, the Friedrich's College {Collegium 
FHdericianum) soon became a power in the city. But 
the religious tone which, as might have been expected, 
characterised it, was not its only novel featura It is 
said to have been the first in the town to give instruc- 
tion in history, geography, and mathematics. Lysius, 
after an active and reforming career, died in 1731, and 
about a year afterwards was succeeded as director of the 
school by Franz Albert Schultz. Schultz must have 
been no ordinary man. This was the man of whom 
Kant in his last years said : " Almost the only thing I 
regret is not to have done something, left some memorial, 
to show my gratitude to Schultz." At Halle, the head- 
quarters of Pietism, Schultz had been carried away by 
the current of evangelical reform. But at the same 
place he also came under the influence of Wolf. The 
philosophy of Christian Wolf, dim and uninteresting as 
it has now become to all but professed adepts in the 
history of philosophy, was then in the zenith of its fame. 
It led, with the requisite academical decorum, the liberal 
thought of the time ; clothed the thoughts of Leibnitz 
in the terms familiar to the hereditary guardians of the 
schools of philosophy ; and drew the youth of Germany 
to Halle and Marburg to learn wisdom. Amongst Wolfs 
disciples was Schultz : in fact, there was a rumour cur- 
rent that the great man had said, " If any one has under- 
stood me, it is Schultz in Konigsberg." 

14 Kwni. 

When Schultz in his thirty-ninth year became pastoi 
of a church in Konigsberg, ho came in the double capa- 
city of evangelical and philosophical reformer, combining 
the logical and scholarly training of a disciple of Wolf 
with the zeal and fervour of a religious apostla Alike 
in the church and in the town, in the school and the 
university, he was active and influential Through his 
efforts Konigsberg between 1730 and 1740 was largely 
won over to the banner of the Pietistic Church; and 
the Collegium Fridericianum flourished under his pa- 
tronage. The old Mng looked upon him and his cause 
with favour. A royal order of 1736, specially exempt- 
ing Konigsberg students from the rule by which every 
Prussian student of theology was required to take two 
years at Halle, showed how completely true religion was 
assumed to be in the ascendant in the theological faculty 
of the Albertina. 

The parents of Kant were among the attendants on 
the religious ministry of Schultz. In material no less 
than spiritual services he was their friend, and would 
sometimes kindly send the poor saddler's household a 
store of wood for their winter's fire. Schultz began to 
take an interest in the eldest boy. Immanuel had 
been sent for his first schooling to the Hospital School 
of his own quarter of the town. At about eight and 
a half years of ago, in Michaelmas 1732, he was entered 
on the books of tho Collegium Fridericianum^ where he 
romainod till Michaolmas 1740, when he left for the 
university. Of those night years of school life there is 
little to toll Diflciplino sooms to have been strictly 
maintained, — more so than some of the boys liked. One 
of thorn, a comrade of Kant iu those days, the afte^ 

At School. 15 

waxds celebrated philologist David Kuhnken, wrote long 
after to remind him of the times they had spent thirty 
years before under the harsh but salutary restraints of 
their puritanical masters. Kant seems to have worked 
well, but not in the direction of philosophy. Whether 
or not he was influenced by the fact that Hcydcnrcich, 
who taught him Latin, was a man of more ability than 
the other masters, at any rate he made himself familiar 
with the literature of Eome, and to the end of his life 
knew by heart long passages from the Latin poets, par- 
ticularly Horace, Persius, and Lucretius. Of Schultz, 
who was director, and of Christian Scliiflert, who was 
the working head-master of the school, we hear nothing 
in relation to Kant One of his schoolmates, Kuhnken, 
has been already named ; Cunde, who died in early life 
as an overworked schoolmaster, was another. The three 
boys, equally enthusiastic for scholarship, dreamed of 
future fame as classical philologists, and tried to fix 
on the Latinised forms in which their names were to 
appear in the title-pages of their books. 

While Kant was a schoolboy of thirteen he lost his 
mother. Li 1737 she was cut off suddenly by a rheu- 
matic fever caught when attending a sick friend Her 
husband survived her only nine years. It could not be 
a very comfortable homa^ The daughters had to go 
out into the world to service : Kant had, as best he 
could, to pick up enough to support himself at school 
and university. His father's death, supervening on a 

1 The fonn in which the chtirchyard books enter the funerals of 
Kanf s parents tells the tale of poverty. The words " Still; Arm" 
(Silent ; Poor), added in each case, show that there was no service at 
the grave, and that no bnrial dues were exacted. 

16 Kant 

palsy-stroke eighteen months before, was thus recorded 
by Kant in the family Bible: "On the 24th March 
1746 my dearest father was called away by a blessed 
death. May God, who has not vouchsafed him great 
pleasure in this life, grant him on that account the joy 
eternal ! " 

But to return. In 1740, at the age of sixteen years 
and a half, Kant entered the University of Kdnigsberg 
— the same year in which his great contemporary and 
sovereign, Friedrich II., entered as King of Prussia upon 
his life -long struggle against the house of Austria, 
against superstition, intolerance, ignorance, and petti- 
fogging. Kant may have been a spectator of the torch- 
light procession of students in July to compliment 
Friedrich on his homage-taking. It is impossible to say 
what precise aim Kant had in view when he entered 
the imiversity. Though the regulations required every 
student to enrol himself either for law, medicine, or 
theology, he put his name down for no one of the three 
whatever. Stories were in circulation to the effect that 
student Kant had attempted to preach in country 
churches; but Kant himself apparently disowned the 
impeachment, and the evidence of one of his contempor- 
aries tends to render the legend apocryphal Kant, says 
Heilsberg (who with Wldmer was one of his most 
intimate friends at the university), was never a professed 
student of theology. The three companions, as he ex- 
plains, were prompted by laudable curiosity to attend 
one session the public lectures of Professor Schultz (the 
same Schultz already mentioned), and showed them- 
selves so proficient in examination, that the professor 
called them up to question them as to their aims in lifa 

At College. 17 

Kant, to our wonder, expressed his intention of becom- 
ing a physician. Whatever trust we may or may not 
place on the details of this narrative, it seems to show 
that Kant had not begun to feel the need or the power 
of definitely fixing on a vocation. 

At any rate, his college studies between 1740 and 
1746 ranged over the whole faculty of arts and 
sciences, — or, as the Germans call it, philosophy. In 
mathematics and physics he learned much from two 
men — ^Teske and Knutzen, especially from the latter. 
Martin Knutzen, prqfesscfr extraordinarius of logic and 
metaphysic, was a man whom local obstacles alone pre- 
vented from acquiring a wider reputation. Only eleven 
years older than his pupil Kant, he had gained his pro- 
fessorship at the age of twenty-one. By excessive devo- 
tibn to the work of his post (he lectured four hours and 
sometimes more every day on philosophy and mathe- 
matics) he wore himself out, and died in 1761, aged 
thirty-seven. Knutzen, like Schultz, was a follower of 
Wolf in philosophy and of Spener the Pietist in reli- 
gion; but, unlike Schultz, he was a man of the study 
and the lecture-room, — ^no churchman or ecclesiastical 
politician. His main interest lay in philosophy; and 
his chief literary work, the * Systema Causarum,' pub- 
lished in 1735, treated of a question then much in dis- 
pute between the older school of philosophers, who con- 
tinued the dogmas of the Schoolmen, and the younger 
school, who derived their ideas from Descartes and from 
Leibnitz. What philosophical ideas Knutzen communi- 
cated to Kant we cannot tell; but we know that in 
general they were the current, somewhat mixed and 
moderate, theories of metaphysical charactet ^l^dsJa. "^"^^- 




vailed throughout Germany. But we do know a scrs 
which he rendered that was of more influence in 
ing and forming Kant's mind than any formal instructioB 
in abstract philosophy. He lent to the youag stut 
the works of Newton, and when he saw these 1 
appreciated, allowed him to have the run of his e 
Bive hbrary. Two things were thereby brought c 
One was, that Kant acquired that appetite for 1 
which 80 characterised him. The other was 
duetion to the methods of natural knowledge, of e 
mental philosophy. From !Newton he learned ths H 
of the sling which waa to slay, or at least to stun, 1 
Goliath of unieasoned and uncritical metaphysics. 

During the sis years in which he ranked as student, 
Kant's pecuniary means must have been but smalL 
father was too poor to give Viiui help. An uncle on the 
mother's aide named Eichter, a well-to-do shoemaker, 
sometimes, perhaps often, supplied the needs of hie 
nephew. But for the most part Kant had to help him- 
selt He was, as has boon said, on very friendly terms 
with two Lithuanians — Wlomer and Heilsberg- — to whom 
he seems to have acted as unpaid tutor. Wliimer I 
some period shared his room with Kant ai 
poyment ; and after Wliimer'a departure anothOT friei 
seema to have rendered him a similar sei-vice. 
of these occasional pupils seem to have given accor 
to their abilities. One, e.g., it ia recorded, beridea | 
BUtall subsidy now and then, would pay for the c 
and the white bread (evidently a luxury), which fo: 
the simple refreshment at Uie hour of lesson. 
Trummer, afterwards physician in Kdnigsberg (m 
probably J. Gerhard Tnumner, who died in 1793), t 

Student Life, 19 

paid for his lessons, and in later life continued (not 
altogether to Kant's satisfaction) to address him in the 
familiar "Dtl" Occasionally when an old garment 
stood sorely in need of repair, a friend, who meantime 
had to keep his room, would lend him part of his own 
wardrohe for the occasion. Heilsberg even adds — ^but 
it must be owned one hesitates to accept every tittle of 
the old man's tales of his boisterous and impecimious 
youth — that he and his friends sometimes earned a little 
money by their successful skill at billiards or at Vhonibre, 
To such straits were then reduced three youths, who 
afterwards became pillars in the academical or the 
political world (Heilsberg became Kriegsrath in Konigs- 
berg, and Wlomer, Finanzrath at Berlin). But at twenty- 
one, when hope still rules the imagination, and life 
beats in vigorous pulses, such privations only serve to 
call out the energies and temper the character. 

In 1746 Kant's father died; and the son, having 
failed in an application for an assistant's place in what 
is at present the cathedral school of Kbnigsberg, had to 
look further outside for a temporary haven,. His appren- 
ticeship to learning was almost completed ; and after an 
interval of nine years, which is partly to be reckoned to 
the preparatory stage, partly to the practical work of 
teaching, he entered upon what was the business of his 




Lies many another student in a land where few endow- 
ments foster scholarship, Kant found his most obvious 
resource was to take a tutorship in a well-to-do family. 
His first post was in the household of Pastor Andeisch 
of the Eeformed Church in Judschen. The village of 
Judschen lies about sixty miles east of Konigsberg, not 
far from the town of Gumbinnen. Here, according to 
one accoimt, he stayed three years. Here, according to 
the imagination of a French biographer, he sometimes 
filled the pulpit of the absent clergyman. But of how 
or what he taught, and who his pupils were, and how 
he liked his duties, we know nothing, and fancy is at 
liberty to fill up the details with materials derivable 
from the common story of a private tutor's lif a Kant 
himself, speaking of these years, declared that there 
could hardly be a tutor with better theory and worse 
practice than himself. His second tutorship was at the 
manor-house of Arensdorf, the residence of the squire of 
the place, a Von Hiilsen. Arensdorf is some miles west 
of the town of Mohrungen (the birthplace of Herder), in 
the hilly and lake-studded region to the south of Elbing. 

As Private Tutor. 21 

Of this connection with the Hiilsen family, which, it is 
said, lasted a year and a half, we also know very little. 
One of his Hiilsen pupils was afterwards boarded with 
Kant, when he came of age to go to college; and it 
may not be without interest to add that the Hiilsens 
were among the earliest of the Prussian landholders to 
earn honourable commendation by liberating their peas- 
ant dependants. Thirdly, Kant, it is said, was tutor 
in the family of Graf Keyserling at Eautenburg, a 
manor-house near Tilsit But this statement cannot 
be Hterally accepted Graf Keyserling had no children : 
and it seems probable that Kant's pupils were the 
two sons of the Graf's second wife, Gmfin von Truchsess 
Waldburg, by her first husband. It was to the kinsmen 
of this lady that the Eautenburg estates originally be- 
longed, and from them they had been bought by her 
first husband, who died in 1761. If Kant, therefore, 
was in 1752 the tutor of her two sons, it must have 
been while she was still the wife of Graf Johann Geb- 
hard. The lady, the subsequent Grafin von Keyserling, 
when her second husband retired from the diplomatic 
service of Poland after 1772, settled with him at Konigs- 
berg. Her house, luxuriously and aesthetically furnished, 
became the resort of the best society in the town, fre- 
quented not merely by the wealthy and noble, but by the 
intellectual aristocracy of the province — men like Kant, 
Hippel, Hamann. The Graf died in 1787, and his wife 
followed him to the grave four years later. Both of 
them were of distinguished talents and culture. The 
Grafin in particular seems to have combined a delicate so- 
cial tact which knew how to respect worth and intellect, 
with considerable taste and skill both in ait aii.dli^"t^^sQ2t^. 

22 Kant 

But whatever be the exact fact about these years of 
country life and work, to which Kant in later age 
looked back as a pleasing memory, sufficient evidence 
that he had not neglected his own studies is given by 
his published works."" His first book, though 1746 stood 
on the title-page, came out in 1749. The expense of 
printing had been chiefly borne by his uncle Eichter. 
These 'Thoughts on the True Estimation of Living 
Forces,* treated of a question of mechanical theory, 
agitated between Leibnitz and the followers of Descartes 
— the question as to the law or formula of movement 
Two short papers on questions of cosmic speculation 
appeared in a Konigsberg periodical in 1754. But 
his first important essay — *A General Natural History 
and Theory of the Heavens' — was printed in 1755. 
It contained a suggestive hypothesis on the origin 
and constitution of the universe, and indicated a new 
solution of the problems of natural theology. But it 
had an unfortunate destiny. Frederick the Great, to 
whom it was dedicated, never set eyes upon it The 
publisher through whom it was to appear failed, and the 
copies of the book never reached the Leipsic Fair. 
Though printed, it was hardly in any true sense pub- 

It was equally on a subject drawn from physical 
science that he wrote the dissertation * De igne,* which 
led the way to his admission to the degree of Doctor in 
Philosophy (Anglich, Master of Arts) on the 12th June 
1755. At Michaelmas in the same year he "habili- 
tated" or qualified himself as jprivat - docent by his 
* New Exposition of the First Principles of Metaphysical 
Knowledge ' (* Principiorum primorum cognitionis meta- 

As Privat'Docent 23 

physicse nova dilucidatio '). And with the winter session 
{semester) of 1755 he began his career of licensed but 
unsalaried lecturer at Konigsberg, a career in which he 
had to linger for fifteen years. Inevitable circumstances, 
and not any wish to keep Kant out in the cold, led to 
this result In 1756 he applied for the extraordinary 
professorship of philosophy, which had remained vacant 
since his teacher Knutzen's death : but unfortunately 
the Berlin Government, in the all but certain prospect 
of a combined Austro-Eusso-Polish attack, had resolved 
to economise by paring down the educational budget to 
the lowest limits. Two years later, in 1758, when a 
vacancy occurred in the ordinary professorship of logic 
and metaphysics, Kant w*as a candidate for the post. 
The Russian governor (it was during the Eussian occu- 
pation) appqinted the nominee of the faculty, another 
pnvat-docentj named Buck, senior in standing to Kant. 
In 1764, after peace had been restored, the Government 
board at Konigsberg received a missive from the Ministry 
of Frederick, asking whether a certain magister Kant, 
already known for some scholarly work in the world of 
letters, would, so far as concerned his acquaintance with 
German and Latin poetry, be a suitable person to hold 
the professorship of poetry, which had been unfilled 
since 1762. Kant, who probably did not need to be 
reminded of the Horatian maxim to see " what the 
shoulders refuse to carry," did not put himself forward 
for the post ; and the first result of the gracious disposi- 
tion of the Government towards him was his appoint- 
ment in February 1766 to the sub-librarianship in the 
Schloss Library, with a yearly stipend of sixty-two 
thalers (about £10). Thus at the age of forty-twci l^a 

24 Kaid, 

received his first official post^ and with such an amount 
of income. Almost at the same date he undertook the 
superintendence of a rich merchant's private collection 
of natural history and ethnography, but soon resigned, 
as not long afterwards he gave up the librarianship, 
finding the duties of showman and cicerone little else 
than an ungrateful waste of time. 

These years which he spent 2i& privairdocent from 1755 
to 1770 must have been uphill work to Kant Without 
private means on which to fall back, he was obliged to 
look fortune in the face and trust to nothing but him- 
self. Early in life he made it his principle to owe 
nothing to any man ; to be able, as he said, never to 
tremble when a knock was heard at his door, lest it 
might bo the call of a dun. His solitary coat grew so 
worn, that some richer friends thought it necessary to 
offer him in a discreet manner money to purchase a new 
garment. Kant, in his deep sense of independence, de- 
clined the gift He had set aside a reserve sum of 
twenty Friedrichs-d'or, — only to be touched in case he 
should be laid up by illness. During this period, and 
even later, lie lived in various lodgings, obliged, like 
other studious souls, to quit the neighbourhoods where 
intolerable noises preyed upon his nerves. Five several 
houses are mentioned by one of his biographers as his 
successive abodes before he finally in 1783 settled in 
the house in the Prinzossin Strasse, which he occupied 
till deatk One of these was in the Magister-gasse, near 
the river, and frtmi it he was driven by the noisy boat- 
men. For some years after 1766 he lodged with the 
bookseller Kauter, wliore he suffered much from a 
screaming cock. The Konigsberg directory for 1770 

Stthjects of Lecture, 25 

informs us that the magister legens and mhlnbliothecariua 
Herr Immanuel Kandt lived with the Buchfuhrer J. 
Kanter in Lobenicht ohnweit der krummen Grube. 

Kant's lectures at first dealt with the subjects of 
mathematics and physics, the topics with which his own 
studies had evidently been in the main engaged. For 
the first ten years he carried on simultaneously courses 
on logic and the other departments of philosophy. But 
about the year 1765 he began to abandon the mathe- 
matical and confine himself to the strictly philosophical 
branches of knowledge In some of the earlier years, 
along with the programme of his lectures, he had pub- 
lished a short essay on some physical question. The 
announcement of his courses for the year 1765-66 em- 
braces logic, metaphysics, ethics, and physical geography. 
The lectures on physical geography, which he had begun 
to give about 1757, always continued one of his most 
popular courses, and were attended by many outsiders, 
especially military men, belonging to the Eussian garri- 
son. Another not less frequented course was that on 
anthropology — a sort of gossipiug and elementary psy- 
chology. Both of these courses were published : those 
on Physical Geography, by Dr Eink, from Kant's manu- 
script, in 1802; and those on Anthropology, by Kant 
himself, in 1798. It was the last work he prepared for 
the press; and such was the demand for it, that the 
first edition of two thousand copies having been disposed 
of in less than two years, a second edition of equal 
amount was issued in 1800. Military pyrotechnics and 
the art of fortification were also subjects on which he 
had classes composed of army men. 

One of his biographers has told us oi KiKcAl^ ^^-^'Kt- 

26 Kant 

ance at his first lecture in 1755. It was given ins 
ground-floor room in the house of old Professor Kypke, 
with whom Kant then lodged. When the hour struck, 
a crowd of students had occupied the entrance hall and 
steps, as well as filled the room ; and Kant, put out by 
the sight of his audience, seemed to lose his head, and 
uttered some almost inaudible remarks, correcting him- 
self again and again. At the next hour of lectxiie he 
showed himself more at ease. But with his delicate 
organisation he was always easily disturbed in lectnia 
Every one probably has heard of his habit of fixing on a 
particular pupil as the ideal butt of his remarks, and 
even on a particular button on that pupil's coat ; and of 
the dire collapse which ensued one morning in the lec- 
ture, when, instead of the button, the coat presented 
only the rudiments of its attachment. He objected, too, 
to the student who took down his utterances verbaMTn^ 
much preferring to see an attentive face trying to giasp 
the lecture on the spot. 

His method in these courses of lectures was to employ 
a text-book as the basis of his own remarks. Thus in 
logic and metaphysics he followed at first the Manuals 
of Baumeister ; in later years he used Meier's Logic and 
Baumgarten's Metaphysic. "Wolfs Logic," he would 
say, "is the best we have. Baumgarten meritoriously 
concentrated Wolf, and Meier once more commented on 
Baumgarten." This method extended to the lectures on 
mathematics and physics. Kajit always refrained from 
teaching his own system as such, and insisted upon the 
distinction between his duties as teacher of the yoxmg, 
and his other duties as an author and thinker, writing 
for the learned world. In his lectures he aided his 


Herder on Kant 27 

memory by marginal notes, often pasted on to his own 
copy of tlie text-book, and by loose papers on which 
were jotted the heads of his exposition. 

His pupils in those years were often enthusiastic ad- 
.mirers of their teacher. Herder, the poetic and theo- 
logical philosopher, attended Kant^s lectures between 
1762 and 1764, and was once so delighted that he threw 
the ideas suggested by the lecture into verse, and handed 
the poem one morning to Kant, who read it aloud to the 
class. About thirty years later, when youthful enthu- 
siasm had given place to coolness and antagonism. 
Herder penned a glowing picture of his old teacher. 
" His open, thoughtful brow was the seat of imf ailing 
cheerfulness and joy ; the profoundest language fell from 
his lips j jest, wit, himiour stood at his coromand j and 
his instructive address was like a most entertaining con- 
versation. With the same originality as he tested Leib- 
nitz, Wolf, Baiungarten, Crusius, Hume, and traced the 
natural laws of Newton, Kepler, and the physicists, he 
made allusion to the books which then appeared, — the 
* Emile ' and the * Heloise,' — as well as to every new dis- 
covery in physics of which he became aware, estimating 
their value, and always coming back to the disiuterested 
study of nature, and to the moral dignity of man. The 
history of man, of nations, of nature, physical science, 
mathematics, and experience, were the sources which 
gave life and interest to his lectures and conversation. 
No knowledge waa indifferent to him ; no cabal, no sect, 
no advantage, no ambition, had ever the least attraction 
for him as against the extension and elucidation of truth. 
By his encouragement and a compulsion welcome to his 
hearers, he taught them to think ioi \ii«ma^\N^^.^^ 

28 Kant. 

The secret of Kant's attractiveness as a lecturer "was 
evidently the reality of his knowledge — ^the way in which, 
with all its extent, it waa concentrated and unified. He 
was a wide, if not a very thorough, reader in the fields of 
literature, and particularly in the concrete sciences — ^thoee 
which treat of human life in all its phases, and of the 
phenomena of the physical world. The productions of 
every part of the earth, the manners and customs of dis- 
tant and barbarous tribes, every outline of the more notable 
constructions of man, were familiar to him. The English 
stranger who heard him describe Westminster Bridge 
could scarcely believe that the speaker had not been on 
the spot. He lived himself into what he read till it 
became as it were a part of his own experience. "When 
the great earthquake at Lisbon occurred in the end of 
1755, Kant was ready and willing to enlighten his 
townspeople on the conditions, known or supposed, of 
phenomena which had excited such intense interest 
throughout the country. When Rousseau's ' Emile ' ap- 
peared in 1762, Kant was so entranced by his perusal of 
the work, that he, for that day alone out of thousands, 
omitted his usual afternoon walk in order to read it to 
the end. Another proof of his widespread interest in 
all things human and divine was the attention he gave 
to the study of the mysticism of Swedenborg. But the 
best of all evidences of his broad human sympathies, of 
profundity combined with grace and tact, were his * Ob- 
servations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime,' 
published at Konigsberg in 1764. 

Elant was no mere metaphysician, no mere man of 
science : he was both, but he was a great deal more 
besidea In the period of which we are now speaking 

Holiday Excursions. 29 

he had not merely a good deal of lecturing to do both 
before and after noon, but also undertook the supervision 
of some young men committed to his care in his lodging. 
In the vacations he saw a somewhat different society. 
Occasionally at Capustigall, a seat of the Keyserlings, 
about ten miles south-west of Kbnigsberg, he passed a 
few weeks in the earlier years, giving lessons to the 
younger members of the Grafin^s family. With these 
there alternated other visits in the holidays. One of 
these houses was the hospitable mansion of Baron von 
Schrotter at Wohnsdorf (between Allenburg and Fried- 
land) ; and to the end of his life Kant retained a charmed 
memory of a summer morning which he had spent, with 
pipe and cup of coffee, conversing with his host and 
General von Lossow, in an arbour on the high banks of 
the river Alle. Von Lossow's country-house, near In- 
sterburg, was another, and the most remote point to 
which his holiday trips carried him To PiUau, too, 
and its sandy downs, spreading pleasantly between the 
Haff and the Baltic, he made occasional tours. But the 
favourite retreat of Kant in those years of middle life 
was at Moditten, about eight miles west of Konigsberg. 
At the house of the chief ranger (Oberforster) Wobser 
and his wife, Kant, like other Konigsbergers, used some- 
times to spend a pleasant week in the woodland neigh- 
bourhood. There he wrote his * Observations on the 
Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime,' the host himself, 
it is said, standing for the typical German described in 
the chapter on the characters of nationalities. 

Kant had already made acquaintance with several of 
the prominent inhabitants. One of these was the Eng- 
lish merchant, Green, who had settled in Kom^^i^T^. 


Ab anecdote records how Kant one day in a putlic gardei 
had been vehemently maintaimng the rights of I 
American colonists as against the attempts of the Briti^'' 
Government to enforce taxation upon them, and how 
Green, then a stranger to Kant, had spnmg forward in 
indignation and demanded satisfaction from the malignet 
of his nation. Kant, adds the story, only replied liy 
quietly explaining the grounds for his position, and nlli- 
mately so succeeded in convincing Green, that the latter 
shook handa with liim, and the two were ever after thn 
closest friends. IJnlesa the incident refer, as has usually 
been supposed, to the American war, it puts the com- 
mencomeat of Kant's friendship with Green in 1765— 
the date of the passing of the Stamp Act and the oppo- 
sition against it raised in Viiginia. We thus clear thfl 
story of any mythical imputation — for Ka: 
tainly a frequunt visitor of Green's in 1768, as wa ^ 
through Hamann. Erery Saturday evening he b 
Green's house till the latter's death, and after that I] 
went to evening parties no more. With Green he h 
invested his money, receiving six per cent interest o 
ginally, and subsequently five when the investment H 
changed. Mothorby, Green's partner, was another e 
friend, with whom he dined regularly every Sunday (1 
this, of course, belongs to a later period) ; and Hay, sH 
Scotch merchant, may be added to the number of those 
commercial intimacies. 

In another class comes John George Hamann, who 
now returned to hie native place in 1759, sis years 
younger than Kant The apparent contrast between 
the two men was great Hamann, the " 
Iforth," discontented with all abstract reasoning, yea 

Hamann. 31 

ing after some faith and unity which he naturally could 
never formulate, uttering in a quasi Scriptural language 
the dicta of a satirical wisdom ; and Kant, the patient 
continuator of the work of rational enlightenment, ap- 
pealing only to the understanding, and never indulging 
L the blind denunciations which flow from irriS 
conceit The relations between the two remind one of 
those between Hume and Rousseau, — the same benevo- 
lent tranquillity on one side, the same passionate inten- 
sity on the other. And yet there must have been 
points of connection. They even seem in 1759 to have 
entertained the idea of a joint work — a natural philo- 
sophy for children (Kinder-physik). It was partly due 
to the advocacy of Kant that Hamann got a post in the 
custom-house at Konigsberg, which he held till 1787, 
the year before his deatL 

A few words will suffice on the literary labours of 
Kant during these fifteen years. Beyond an occasional 
essay accompanying the public announcement of his 
lectures, and an article now and then in Konigsberg 
papers, published by his friend Kanter, nothing of any 
importance appeared by his hand during the greater 
part of the period of the Seven Years' War. With the 
year 1762 begins a period of greater intellectual produc- 
tion, so far at least as concerns external results. * The 
False Subtlety of the Four Syllogistic Figures ' in that 
year is followed in 1763 by the * Attempt to Introduce 
into Philosophy the Conception of Negative Quantities ' 
and the 'Only Possible Argument for Demonstrating 
God's Existence/ and in 1764 by the * Observations on 
the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime,' and the 
* Inquiry into the Evidence (Perspicuity) of the Pxvcl- 

32 Kami, 

ciples of Natural Theology and Morals.' The plan of 
lectures, which Kant published in 1765, shows that 
his mind was at this period passing through a crisisL 
Hitherto he had been, on the whole, occupied in prob- 
lems of a scientific rather than a purely philosophic 
kind, and had been vaguely resting in the traditional 
metaphysics. His study of Newtonian physics and kin- 
dred topics had gradually thrown doubts on these pre- 
suppositions. It was reserved for this period (1760-65), 
by bringing him into acquaintance with the moral phi- 
losophy of Shaftesbury, Hutcheson, and Hume, to throw 
at least temporary discredit on the theories of the 
rationalist school The prize offered by the Berlin 
Academy of the Sciences in 1763 for the best essay on 
the question of the ground of our belief in the first 
principles of morals and theology, served as an occasion 
for him to draw out formally some of his views on the 
contrast between the method of mathematics and that 
of metaphysics. His essay failed to gain the prize, 
which was awarded to Moses Mendelssohn. Lastly, in 
1766, appeared his * Dreams of a Visionary Explained 
by Dreams of Metaphysics,* — a somewhat uncompli- 
mentary parallelism between the ideas of Swedenboig 
and the theories of the Leibnitian metaphysics. This, 
after the * Observations,' is one of the best written and 
most brilliant of his writings. It marks the extreme 
point in his dissatisfaction with the existing methods of 
philosophy, and is the last work of any extent addressed 
to the larger public which came from his hand up to 
the appearance of the * Criticism of Pure Eeason* in 
1781, fifteen years later. The data to the questions of 
spiritualism must, as he saw, be sought for " in another 

Literary Labours, 33 

world than that in which our sensations lie." In other 
words, scientific data there were none. The unanswer- 
able problems suggested by the conception of immaterial 
souls in relation with each other and with material bodies, 
suggested the need of a metaphysical system which 
should be " a science of the boundaries of the human 
reason." Kant in 1766 had in short anticipated in a 
rough way the results which he waa afterwards, in the 
* Criticism of Pure Eeason,* to establish on their true 
premisses by an analysis of the conditions of knowledge. 

p. — V. 




In 1770, at the age of forty-six, Kant reached the office 
which was the suimnit of his amhition. Already in 
1769 negotiations had been begun by the university of 
Erlangen, with the view of securing Kant for the pro- 
fessorship of logic and metaphysics ; and a similar oflEer 
came about the same time from Jena. But as it hap- 
pened, it was now possible to retain Kant at Konigs- 
berg, — a course which to his mind far surpassed possible 
advantages elsewhere. By the death of the professor of 
mathematics a vacancy arose ; and an arrangement was 
effected by which Buck succeeded to the mathematical 
chair, and resigned to Kant the very professorship of 
logic and metaphysics for which he had been twelve 
years before an unsuccessful applicant. On the 20ih 
August 1770, accordingly, Kant read himself into his 
chair by a Latin dissertation " On the Form and Prin- 
ciples of the Sense-World and the World Intellectual," 
— an essay which, in a scholastic and unequal form, laid 
down, almost in its very title, the lines which, in the 
subsequent 'Criticism of the Eeason,' determine ho\7 

Professorial Stipend, 35 

far knowledge by the mere intellect is a possibility. 
The post of respondent in the discussion was taken by 
his young Jewish friend, Dr Marcus Herz, subsequently 
a well-known physician of Berlin. 

From 1770 to 1804 Kant continued to be professor 
at Konigsberg. He was not, indeed, without temptations 
or inducements from other quarters. A more lucrative 
post at Mitau, in Courland, waa declined by him. Zed- 
litz, the minister for schools and churches under Frede- 
rick, had been a great admirer of Kant's, whose lectures 
on physical geography he studied in manuscript notes, 
carried to Berlin by Kraus, one of Kant's younger 
friends. Zedlitz was now anxious to secure Kant for 
Halle, then the principal university of Prussia; and 
besides offering a double amoimt of income, appealed to 
the professor's sense of duty to confer the inestimable 
advantages of his teaching upon the more numerous 
body of students. Kant> however, could not bear the 
thought of quitting the old familiar faces, and made 
his stipend of 400 thalers (about £60) suffice, when 
added to the other emoluments, for a frugal degree 
of comfort In 1780 he became a member of the 
Senatus Academicus, involving the small additional 
sum of twenty-seven thalers. In 1786, the date of the 
new king's accession, the professors received a general 
increase of stipend, which in Kant's case raised his 
income to 440 thalers. And in addition, Kant in 1789 
received notice in very complimentary terms from the 
Prussian premier (Wollner) that he would henceforth 
receive a further yearly supplement of 220 thalers, thus 
making his income in the last decade of his life reach 
the sum of 660 thalers, or £100 steiling — d.Q\x!c^X&<&'3> 

36 Kant. 

purchasing mucli more than the same Bum at tl 
present day. 

Kant took his turn as Rector or Viee-ehaacellor of & 
TJniversity, On the first occasion, in 1786, it waalii 
part to present the respects of the Albertina to the i 
sovereign, on the occasion of his receiYing the liomaf^' 
of his East Prussian aubjecta. In 1788 he again held 
the rectorship — both tunes only for the summer half- 
year. As dean of the pliilosophical faculty he hf 
Bevaral tiroes to test the candidates for admission to Ij 
university, and gained in this function the reputatil 
for laying more weight oa the scholarly solidity ^ 
foundation than on tlie mass and extent of the acqniiea 
facta. As a disciplinarian ho was inclined to the view 
that liberty does less harm than excessive reatrainli Bud 
hothouse forcing. 

KEint as a professor continued to lecture very n 
as he had done as a privat-doeent, except that he at 
what restricted the number ot his hours. Hencefortli 
he habitually lectured for two hours daily during six 
days in each week, adding on Saturday a third hour for 
catechetical purposes. On Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, 
and Friday his hours were from 7 to 9 in the morning, 
on Wednesday from 8 to 10, and on Saturday from 7 to I 
10. Year after year for twenty -five years 1 
tinued with unexampled regularity to discourse for o 
hour daily either on logic or metaphysic ; for the o 
on some hranch of applied philosophy, or 
subject as physical geography or anthropology. One d 
his hearera assures iia that during the nine years C 
which he attended Kant's prelections, the teacher n 
jDJased a single hour. Another testified to the fact^ tl 

Style of Lecture. 37 

during five years Kant only failed to lecture once, and 
that this single absence was due to indisposition. 

Some idea of his style of lecture may be gathered 
from the following eyewitnesses. Jachmann, one of 
his biographers, thus speaks of his lectures on meta- 
physic : — 

" Discounting, as we may, the difficulty of the subject for 
the beginner, Kant may be said to have been always clear 
and attractive. He evinced a special skill in the exhibition 
and definition of metaphysical ideas. He conducted, one 
may say, an experiment before his audience, as if he himself 
were beginning to meditate on the subject. By degrees new 
conceptions were introduced to specify the initial idea ; step 
by step explanations which had been tentatively offered 
were corrected ; and finally the finishing touch was given 
to the conception, which was thus completely elucidated from 
every point of view. An attentive listener was in this way 
not merely made acquainted with the object, but received a 
lesson in methodical thinking. But the hearer who, un- 
aware that this was the procedure of his teacher, took the 
first explanation for the correct and exhaustive statement, 
and neglected to follow the further steps, carried home only 
half-truths. Sometimes in these metaphysical speculations 
Kant, carried away by the current of thought, pursued 
single ideas too far, and lost sight of the main object, where- 
upon he would suddenly break off with the phrase, * In short, 
gentlemen ' (* In summa, meine Herren *), and return without 
delay to the point of his argument." 

This account by a genial admirer may receive its 
proper pendant in a somewhat cold-blooded description 
drawn from a later date. In 1795, in Kant's seventy- 
first year, Graf von Purgstall, then in his twenty-second 
year, came to Konigsberg to see the " patriarch " of the 
Critical philosophy, which he had abeady «tud\a^\sA^^ 

Reinhold at Jena. He thus gives his impressiona i 
Kant'e lectme to a etuiient friend : — 

" Hia delivery boa quite the tone of ordinary conversationi 
and can scarcely be called elegant Imagine to yourself a 
little old man, bent forward aa he sita, in a brown coat wit! 
yellow buttonB, with wig and hair-hag to boot ; imagine filt- 
ther that this little man Bometimee takes his hands out froui 
the close-buttoned coat where they lie croRsed, and makes a 
Blight movement before his ihce as a man does when WTshint; 
Bome one else quite to understand him. Draw this pictmi 
to youraelf, and you Bee him to a hair. Though all this cai 
BCaroely be termed elegant, tliough hia worda do not ring 
clear, atiU everything which his delivery, if I may any tn 
wants in form, is richly compensated by the excellence of the 
matter. . . . Kant lectures on an old logic, by Meier, if I 
mistake not. He always brings the book with him into 
lecture. It looks so old and stained, he must, I think, have 
brought it to the class-room for forty years. On every page 
he has notes written in minute characters. Many of the 
printed pi^ea are pasted over with paper, and many lines 
ntruck out ; so that, as you can see, almost nothing of Meier's 
Logic remains. Not one of his hearers bringe tlie book to 
lecture : they merely write to hia dictation. He does not, 
however, appear to notice this, and follows his author with 
much fidelity from chapter to chapter, and then corrects 
liim, or rather says quite the reverse, but all in the greatest 
simplicity, and without the leaat appearance of conceit over 
Uis discoveriee." 

The extraordinary uniformity of Kant'e lifo renders it 
possible to draw a picture of one day which may serve as 
a type of thousanda. Every morning about five minutes 
before five o'clock hia servant Lampe entered the bedroom 
and called Kant with the words, "It is time" ("£g ist 
Zei-t "). trnitormly, and without exception (on the teati- 

A Day with Kant 39 

mony of the servant himself), the call was obeyed, and at 
five o'clock Kant was in his sitting-room or study. His sole 
refreshment was one cup of tea (sometimes unconsciously 
increased to two) and a single pipe of tobacco. Up to 
seven o'clock he continued to prepare for his lectures. 
At seven o'clock he descended to his lecture-room, whence 
he returned at nine. Thereafter he devoted himself 
during the rest of the morning to his literary labours. 
At a quarter before one o'clock he rose and called out to 
the cook, " It is three-quarters 1" — whereupon she brought 
the Uquor which he was to drink after the first course 
had been served. At dinner, for the last twenty years 
of his life,^-during which he occupied a house of his 
own, — he always had guests — ^never, if possible, less 
than two, and seldom, if ever, more than five. (The 
limit of six was due to the fact that his plate, &c., was 
provided for a party of that number.) These guests were 
invited on the morning of the day on which they were 
to dine; for Kant either knew the rudeness of mere 
general invitations, or did not wish his friends to feel 
themselves bound by a lengthened and formal engage- 
ment But one thing Kant expected from his guests, 
and that was pimctuality. As soon as the nimiber was 
complete, Lampe entered and announced that the soup 
was on the table. The guests proceeded to the dining- 
room, talking of no subject more profound than the 
weather. Kant took his napkin, and with the words, 
"Now, gentlemen" (^^ Nun, meine Herren"), set the 
example of helping himself from the dish set in the 
midst of the tabla The dinner usually consisted of 
three courses — in which fish and vegetables generally 
formed a part — and ended with wine and do^&ect. 


Tho tlinuer and its concomitants lasted from one 
four, and sometimes even to five o'dock. Politics y 
a, frequent subject of convereation, but anything of 1 
nature of metftpliyeics was rigorously excluded, 
was always an eager reader of the newapapeis, 
welcomed the post which brought them to 

e fortunes of the French Revolution weie among 1 
1 interests in later daj-s, as the American War 
pendeuce had been in his middle aga He Bym[ 
thised with the efforts of a nation to shape the forms 
its social life. "When tho news came of the eetal 
nient of the French Republic, Kant, turning to 
friends, said, with tears in his eyes — " I now can j 
like Simeon : Lord, let Thy servaot depart in poacc^ 
mine eyea have seen Thy salvation." 

According to Rant, tlie conversation at dinner g 

rough three stagee^narration, discussion, end |< 
B third stage ended, at four, Kant went out 
his constitutional walk. In later yeai's, at least 
1783, this was a solitary proinenad& He had i 
been strong — never ill, and yet never thoroughly 
His chest was flat, almost hollow, with a slight 
ity in the right shoulder, which made his head stoop 
little on that sid& All his life through he had 
to keep himself in health by persistant adherence to on 
tain maxims of diet and regimen. One of these wa^j 
that the germs of disease might often be avoided if th< 
breathing were systematically carried on by the nose 
and for that reason Kant always in his later years walked 
alone with month closed. He was also careful to avoid 
■ peispiratlon. His usual stroll was along the banks of tlie 
legel towards the Friedrich's Fort; but this so-called 

A Day wUh Kant, 41 

Philosophen - damm has in modem Konigsberg given 
place to the railway station and other alterations. Other 
walks were to the north-west of the town, where his 
friend Hippel, the chief magistrate (Oberbiirgermeister), 
had done much to embellish the environs by new paths 
and gardens. 

On returning from his walk he set to work, — perhaps 
first of all arranging any little matters of business, 
reading any novelties in the way of books, or possibly 
the newspapers, for which his appetite was always keen. 
As the darkness began to fall, he would take his seat 
at the stove, and with his eye fixed on the tower of 
Lobenicht church would ponder on the problems which 
exercised his mind. One evening, however, as he looked, 
a change had occurred — ^the church tower was no longer 
visible. His neighbour's poplars had grown so fast that 
at last, without his being aware, they had hid the turret 
behind them. Kant, deprived of the material support 
which had steadied his speculations, was completely 
thrown out Fortunately his neighbour was generous — 
the tops of the poplars were cut, and Kant could reflect 
at his ease again. About 9.45 Kant ceased working, 
and by ten o'clock was safely tucked in his eider-down 
cover. Till the last years of his life his bedroom was 
never heated even in winter, though his sitting-room is 
said to have been kept at a temperature of 75^ Fahrenheit 
— a statement which one has some diflficulty in accepting. 

In these years of his professoriate another set of friends 
gathered round Kant Hamann, it is true, stiU continued 
in some degree of intimacy with him ; but the tie be- 
tween the two men, never very strong, had been decidedly 
weakened as years showed the radical diveigi^iLc.^ ol \i\i&\t. 


42 ^anl. 

ways of thinking. Th. G. von Hippel (1741-1796X thel 
biirgermeuteT of Konigsberg, the author of some wo^ J 
which thiow considerahle light on the social history d 
Konigsberg in lost century, was one of these frienda a 
maturer life. In one of these books, the ' Lebensliii 
in Aulsteigender Linis' (1779), Hippei Lad intiodao 
so many ideas of Kantian character, that in 1797, a 
Hippel's death, Kant had actually to publish a fon 
diBclouner of the authorship of this as well as of anothei I 
work of Hippel's ('TJeber die Ehe'), both published 
anonymoualy. He added, to explain the similarity of 
opinions, that Hippel had dipped largely into the note- I 
books of students during the years 1770 to 1780, t 
had frequently conversed with him on philos< 
One instance of the relations subsisting between the ti 
men may raise a smila Kant, whose house stood B 
for from the castle, was disturbed in his studies at 
period by the noisy devotional exercbes of the prii 
in the adjoining jail In a letter to Hippel, accord-' ' 
ingly, he suggested the advantage of closing the windows 
during these hymn -singings, ond added that the wardeis 
of the prison might probably be directed to accept less 
sonorous and neighbour-annoying chants as evidence of 
the penitent spirit of their captives. "What was the pe- 
sidt of Kant'a application wo know not, 

J. G. Scheffner (1736-1820) was another of Kanfa 
friends. The best known period of Scheffner's life, 
however, comes later. His patriotic and liberal con- 
duct in the dark days of Prussia, his connections with 
Stein, and his frank yet courteous friendship witli 
Qneen Luise and her husband when they took refuge 
in Kitoigsbetg, belong to the history of his country. 

Circle of Friends. 43 

A nearer friend of Kant was Christian Jakob Kraus 
(1753-1807), once his pupil, afterwards professor of 
moral philosophy, and favourably known for his lec- 
tures on political economy. Kraus, like Kant, had 
been an inmate and an instructor in the household of 
the Keyserlings. In the philosopher's declining years 
there were few of his friends so devoted and self-for- 
getful as Kraus, who would sometimes refuse an in- 
vitation to the country and spend his holidays at home, 
rather than leave Kant to a solitary table. In his walks, 
too, he was a frequent and welcome companion to Kant, 
who had a high opinion (apparently well justified) of 
his junior's talents. This tender friendship subsisted 
unbroken to the end of Kant's life. 

Of the other knights of Professor Kant's table it may 
suffice to give the names. There was Sommer (1754- 
1826), a clergyman in Konigsberg: in early years he 
had joined in those happy country parties which met 
at the cottage of forester Wobser in Moditten, and in 
later years he became a weekly guest There were the 
brothers Jachmann — the younger a medical man, the 
elder a sort of director of education in Danzig and 
Konigsberg ; Wasianski, pastor of the Tragheim church 
in Konigsberg, the friend of Kant's declining years; 
and Borowski (1740-1831), the son of a sexton in the 
town, who finally became archbishop (an isolated in- 
stance of the title) in the Evangelical ChurcL The 
last three have especially come down to posterity for 
their interesting memoirs of the philosopher. The 
names of Jensch, town councillor and criminal magis- 
trate ; Vigilantius, another civic dignitary, who attended 
Kant's lectures whilst occupying his of^ciBl^o^^. \ '^^^^'vi^ 



authority in natural science ; the two brotbeil 
itherby — the elder a merchant, the younger a phydi 
I of Xant'a olil friend of youthful days! 
such are some of the names recorded to us by Renscl^ 
the laat of the hand. Itink, another of the writers o 
biographical noticea, and editor of some of the lecture 
by Kant, may be added to the list. 

Kant lived a bachelor all his life. Somo of the toudtei 
in hia ' Observations on the Sublime and Beautiful ' migU 
suggest the idea that in early years he had not been 
insensible to the attractions of love. But the rigouis 
of poverty had denied him the indulgence of these 
3 years went on and brought competence,- 
lUgh not wealth, he probably felt that the proper 
for wedlock was over and gona Probably lur> 
circumstances had impressed upon hia mind the 
itraat, to which ho has more than once given ( 

between the date which nature suggests fof 

union of the sexes, and the time fixed for maniaga 

the conventions and necessities of social life. B^ 

:u in bis later years, according to more or leas welt 

inded gossip, lie was the hero of two inchoate and 

.entary love-affairs. A prepossessing young widoK 

gentle ways had touched the philosopher'a heart bO 

Bensihly, that he had begun to balance his accounts ta 

see if he could afford the luxury of a wifa But ewi 

hia calculations were completed, and liis plans fixed, 

prospective bride had left Konigsberg, and found 

prompter claimant for her hand somewhere in tbs 

jsian Obetland (to the south). On another occa 

if we believe these idle tales, the same story repeated 

itself — only this time the heroine was the fascinatisif 

Love Legends, 45 

companion of a Westphalian lady on a visit to Konigs- 
berg. Here, too, Amanda departs for her home before 
the scrupulous forethought of Kant permits him to make 
his election. More authentic is the story of a simple- 
hearted pastor of the town, whose compassion for Kant's 
solitary state led him to print a dialogue exhorting to 
matrimony as a duty and a blessing. The septuagena- 
rian smiled gravely at his foolish friend's importunity, 
paid the costs of printing the * Eaphael and Tobias ' dia- 
logue, and retailed the jest at table. But he disliked to 
hear allusion or remark made concerning his celibacy. 

Probably the temperament of Kant was more disposed 
to the freedom of friendship in general society than to 
the comparative bondage of the conjugal Mfa The long 
years of probation had certainly stamped him with sev- 
eral peculiar habitudes, and had made him specially im- 
patient of any interference with his liberty. Once, it 
is told, he had accepted the invitation of a noble friend 
to take a seat in his carriage, and had in the sequel 
been driven, much to his own disgust, far beyond the 
time and distance originally intended. Erom that time 
he made a vow never to enter a carriage unless he should 
himself be supreme to fix the hour and the road. A 
like impatience of control made him his own physician. 
By a variety of hygienic precepts, which he had evolved 
from his own reflections, he endeavoured to steer clear 
of the doctor. The care of health, and his own rules to 
that end, were subjects on which he was always ready 
to converse. He devoted to medical questions consid- 
erable attention. His papers show that in the closing 
years of his life he had brought to him the weekly list 
of births and deaths in Konigsberg. He W8& m ^^ 

4G Kant. 

habit of discuseing the merit of innovations in medicine 
— Buch, for example, as the Eruaonian theory (John 
Brown's 'Elementa Medicinte' first appeared in 1780) 
and the vaccination doctrines of Jenner, which were 
promulgated only in the last years of the century. Up 
to the time of his last illness, the only medicine which 
Eant accepted at the hands of the profession was the 
aperient pilla prescribed by his old college friend, Dr 

If Kant diatmsted or eschewed the medical faculty, 
he was little leas inclined to give a wide berth to the 
lawyera and the clergy. Of the Church he had a noble 
idea; but he did not find it realised in the Churchee oU 
his day. Sacmdotalism, even in its mildest forms^ wsfl 
as abhorrent to him on the one hand as a supeietitionifl 
and sensuous supematuralism was on the other. It 18 I 
a point in their hero's life which causes the deepest pain 
to fiome of his biographers, that during his manhood h6 | 
never entered a church door. On the special day, whe^M 
the professors, with the rector at their head, made t&l^| 
procession to the cathedral, Kant did once take his pod^f 
tion in front ; hut at the church door he turned anoflivl 
way, and retired to bis rooms. To the free soul of 'SmA I 
the soctaritmiam whicli had an eye for nothing hi^Mj 
than professional interests in its performance of t^H 
sacred duties of keeping "boHy and spirit sound cod1^| 
only be abhorrent in the extreme. Like his kii^| 
and contemporary, he was above all things impatien™ 
of the pettifoggery on which the legal profession so 
largely depends, of the intolerance by which priests 
often cl^m to guide and govern the consciences oU 
men, and of t)ie conventional methods by which medjH 

Dress. 47 

cal tradition seeks to palliate disease. Every man his 
own doctor, every man his own lawyer, every man liis 
own priest, — ^that was the ideal of Kant. 

A man with these lofty visions of independence is not 
likely to find many women to sympathise with him, or 
even to understand him. What, to them, would life be 
without its conventionalities — without the doctor and the 
clergyman] Kant, besides, was in a mild way some- 
thing of a beau. In his younger days the privat-docent, 
little man though he was (just over five feet), had 
always tried to dress like a gentleman. With his 
frock-coat of brown or bright sand -colour, his frilled 
front or jabot^ his three-cornered hat, silk stockings, 
a cane (in earlier days, when fashion so prescribed, a 
sword had swung at his imwarlike side), he made a well- 
becoming appearance in the streets : a wig and hair-bag 
completed his costume. One of his barber's accoimts 
still survives (the back of the paper having been used 
for notes) to show how moderate were the charges for 
coifiEure in Konigsberg. Kant had also dressing arrange- 
ments of his own : the mechanical contrivance by which 
his stockings were suspended has been described in detail 
by Wasianski He was apt also to discourse on the 
philosophy of dress, no less than of conversation. He 
would touch upon the comparative effect of white and 
black stockings in giving an appearance of stoutness to 
the ankle ; and would remark that we may take a les- 
son in the propet harmony of colours for our apparel 
from the common auricula. 

All this was the natural result ci long years of bachelor- 
hood. Since 1762 Kant had been attended by a faithful 
servant named Martin Lampe, a native of Wiii^bux^. 



Like Corporal Trim, Lampe was an old Boldier, and | 
bttbly aJded an additional touch to tlie pijie-clfty a 
miacigyniat tendencies of the establishment. Kaiit gi 
deeply attached to his servant. When some of 1 
friends said jestingly one day, that they feared I 
"would leave them in the next world and seek i 
congenial society among the departed philosophei^ 1 
replied ; " Sone of your philosophers ; I shaU bo q 
happy if I have the society of Lampe," But ] 
who ono day surprised Kant hy presenting himself j 
a yellow coat instead of his livery of white wilJi J 
tvinunings, and fay informing his master of his intentit 
to be that day married, grew less satisfactory as yeaiS 1 
wont on. He drank occasionally, and had flta of obati- 
nacy and qnarrelsomenesa, which his old master was less j 
and less able to beat with. At last, two years before I 
Eant's death, he had to be dismissed; but the i 
of his ancient domestic would not leave Kaiit so c 
as his bodily presence had been disposed of, and t 
veteran aage found it needful to write on his note-bc 
"The name Lampe must be completely forgotten." 
did not, however, forget I^mpe's interests, and tooR 
means to soften, by a small pension, the hardships of I 
old age. 

From bis celibate vantage-groimd Kant made his d 
GQTvations on womankind and the relations between t] 
Bsxes. His remarks are not unkindly or on the who 
unfair, but they suffer from the eflect of distance and ■ 
antithesis. He had a keen eye for the foiblee of £ 
sex, and a strong sense of the illusions and o 
ftlities which throw a "beautiful sham "—a spiritual fii^l 
I»af — over the nakedness of the natural attractions. 

Opinions on Women, 40 

remarks are all from the exclusively masculine stand- 
point Unlike Plato, he directs his view almost solely 
to the diversity between the sexes, instead of to the 
identity of human nature, to the double-sexed being of 
which they are complementary halves. Hence we are 
not surprised to hear him impress on his lady friends the 
supreme importance of cookery as a feminine accomplish- 
ment He cherished the current prejudices of the mas- 
culine world against blue-stockings. " Himian nature 
simis up the grand science of a woman, and in himian 
nature especially the man " (Der Inhalt der grossen Wis- 
senschaft der Frauen ist vielmehr der Mensch, und imter 
den Menschen der Mann). " A lady, who has her head 
full of Greek like Madame Dacier, or who engages in 
serious mechanical controversies like the Marquise de 
Chdtelet, may as well have a beard to the bargain : it 
would possibly give better expression to the character of 
profundity at which she aims." 

The age of Kant was an age of match-making, and not 
an age of aesthetic or passionate love-making. It looked 
upon marriage as an arrangement for the happiness of 
human beings, — a mode of making one's way through 
the world easier and pleasanter. The foremost intellects 
of the time were engaged in a continual warfare against 
fanaticism and superstition, against the fantastic extrav- 
agances of passion and instinctive beliei Eeason was 
their watchword ; Eeason was their deity. Unreasoning 
faith, undisciplined imagination, were the enemies they 
most abhorred. Enlightenment of the mind, illumin- 
ation, freedom from the prejudices of feeling and tra- 
dition, were greater aims in their eyes than any mere 
enthusiasm for learning for its own sake, Hei^ "w^ a» 

p. — n i> 



grand and noble idea, but because of ite limitations 
easily assumed a prosaic and utilitarian aspect. 
Kant's age was the age of critictsni, it was not the 
of historical insight, or of aympathy with the past Tim 
thinkers of whom we speak were too acutely sensible ef 
their duty ^eraser rin/dme to see any beauty 
structures of old belief and traditional authority wl 
they hoped to destroy. To get rid of t^e incubus 
govemmental, legal, sacerdotal oppression, -was a 
that hardened the sensibility to the beauties of art and 
the delicacies of sentiment. 

And yet there was another series of currents of opinioa 
even in Kant's tim.e. Already in the middle of the cen- 
tury the investigations of Winckelmaan had revealed 
Greece as the true school of European culture. His con- 
temporaries, Hamaun and Herder, had reiterated the 
doctrine tliat human history was not an abstract philo- 
sophical process, but a poem instinct with feeling and 
faith. They hod called attention to the myei 
double nature of language as an incarnation of reason 
eensB and materiality. A sympathetic liistorical ap] 
ciation of the past and the uncultured wag rising up 
here and there, to modify and beautify the too anxious 
devotion to the claims of utility and reasonableaess as 
the one thing needful But of all tlds new light 
saw little, and what little he saw he deemed a WIUhj' 
wisp. In the complex and irregular beauties of 
middle ages, he, like the average of his contem] 
saw only disorder and fantastic folly. Gothic archil 
ture 6eemed caricature,— the fruit of a perverted 
I and of a barbarous age. Monasticism and chivalry were 
I unnatural and fanatical aberrations, The grand old pile 

Views on literature and Art. 61 

of Marienbuig, the ancient seat of the Teutonic knights, 
the edifice which Kant's scholar, Theodor von Schbn, 
restored to some of its old magnificence (and which, as 
he said, had never failed to impress every visitor save 
two, and of them one was suspected of being a parricide), 
— of this pile Elant, like his contemporaries, had prob- 
ably barely heard. The name of Shakespeare does not 
occur in Kant's works ; and when he speaks of Homer, 
he suggests Pope's translation more directly than the 
original Probably he knew little Greek. "The old 
songs from Homer to Ossian, and from Orpheus to the 
Prophets," he says on one occasion, " owe the brilliancy 
of their style to the want of proper means to express 
the idea&" 

This limitation of Kant's mind on the SBsthetic and 
emotional side is especially seen in the domain of litera 
ture and art He had seen no picture-galleries. He 
speaks of print-collectors merely to quote an illustration 
of an amiable weakness. The only print which adorned 
the walls of his room was a portrait of Eousseau, and 
that was probably a present In the works of art which 
the accomplished Countess Keyserling had gathered in 
her mansion, he was never observed to take any special 
interest In music his favourite strains were the stirring 
notes of a military band : he warned his pupils against 
the enervating effects of plaintive and languishing airs. 
In poetry his taste had probably been formed on the 
model of the classic bards of ancient Home. Of both 
Milton and Pope he speaks with respect, although for 
different reasons; yet Milton, 'like Homer, seemed to 
hi-m to transgress the limits of well-regulated imagina- 
tion, and to border on the fantastic. Hailex \i!^ \^^ 



early ieameil to aJmire ; Biirger and Wieland are alw 

mentionod among the po«ts he had read. Bat prohaUy 
he found the ealliea of the comic and satirical mims 
more to hix mind. Amongst these Liskov, and at n 
hltet period Lichtenberg — eapocially the comments by 
the latter on Hogarth's pictures — afforded Iiim relajtatiou 
and amusement. The better known poets and uovelbls 
who cl\ister round the reign of Queen Anne, — suuh u 
Swift, Fielding, Addison, Butler, Richardson, Stcmtv 
Young, and Pope, — seem to have been tolerably famihar 
to him. But, on the whole, it may be said that what 
Kant sought in litoratm'a waa the wliaf of contrast, re- 
creation in the hours when he quitted the stem studies 
of ethics and metaphyatca The world of art as such— 
except, that is, in so far aa it ministers to tho pieaeiit« 
01 ease of the natural and untaught sensibility — was to 
Kant almost a terra iiieognila. 

This externality to the influence of art is to b^ 
aacribed partly to Kant'a early upbringing, and partly 
the provincial atmosphere in which his lot was 
Kiiiiigsberg lay too far outside the general current 
liuiuau progress and interests. It bad not yet entenx! 
into the full light of the culture which at this eponh 
radiated from Paris and Central Germany. But if art 
had not become a habitual sphere in which his mind 
□uuld float as in on azure sky, the influences of nature 
wliiah, either from their grandeur or their witness to 
telligent adnptntion, fall pleasantly on the common mh 
were to Kant lUMinHurly inipriissivo. "Tlie starry 
above me, and tlio moml law in me," — these, ha 
"arc two things which fill the aoul with ever n«w 
incnwaing ndniirotlon and rovoruiice." For tha lil 

Love of Nature. 53 

glimpses which the ordinary phenomena of nature permit 
into the operations of an intelligence, he had a perception 
no less keen than was his sense of the sublimer aspects 
of the universe. He told his friends one day how, as he 
passed a certain building in his daily walk, he had 
noticed several young swallows lying dead upon the 
ground. On looking up, he discovered, as he fancied, 
that the old birds were actually throwing their young 
ones out of the nests. It was a season remarkable for 
the scarcity of insects, and the birds were apparently 
sacrificing some of their progeny to save the rest. 
" At this," added Kant, " my intellect was hushed : the 
only thing to do here was to fall down and worship." 
Once, he said, he had held a swallow in his hand, 
and gazed into its eyes ; " and as I gazed, it was as if I 
had seen into heaven." All through life he had never 
lost sight of the lesson of mind in nature which he had 
learned at his mother's knee. And in the last of the 
three criticisms, the * Criticism of the Judgment,' he 
gave his systematic account of the faith in reason which 
strengthens and guides the inquirer in the search after 
natural order. 




With liis entrance npon professorial life there is a WOr 
tempotaneous change in the character of Kant's literary 
activity. For the twenty years between his earliest work 
ia 17iT and his compariaon of Leibnitz to Swedenborg 
in 1766, the writings o£ Kant had indicated an advancing 
and tentative intelligence, grappling in apparently easuul 
order with some of the fundamental problems of human 
thought The true nature of our conceptions of moi 
ment ; the primitive origin and constitution, as wall i 
the fiual aim, of the cosmic, system; the ideas which it : 
possible to attach to the current beUe fa in a Bpiritual, 
visible, and immortal world ; the place of God in the 
plan of natural exiatencea ; and the relation of thought 
{ofl especially shown in the case of negatives) to realitjt 
— BUch had been some of the more significant topics ■ 
which he had from time to time attempted to gain : 
matic and consistent conclusions. The ideas thui 
gested had procured for their author throughout Ger 
a reputation for originality and profundity ; and kinc 
spirits, engaged in similar researches, were prompted 
enter into correspondence with hin;. 

LawherL 55 

Of these contemporaries the fiist to hail Kaat as a 
fellow-labourer for the cause of truth was Lambert 
Johann Heinrich Lambert, who was only four years 
younger than Kant, had at an early period distinguished 
himself by his mathematical acumen. Li 1 764 he settled 
at Berlin, and in the following year became a salaried 
member in the Academy which Frederick had been 
gathering in his capital His introductory address, " Sur 
la liaison des connaiasanees qui sont Tobjet de chacune 
des guatre Classes de VAcademie,^* struck the keynote of 
his philosophical efforts. His aim was to imfold the one 
true method of the sciences, — the method which com- 
bines experience on the one hand with the demonstrative 
certainty of the calculus on the other. The words of 
Kant, that " in every branch of natural science there 
is only 80 much strict and proper science as there is 
of mathematics,'' are exactly conceived in the spirit of 
Lambert His ' Cosmological Letters on the Arrange- 
ment of the Cosmos* (1761) traverse in part the same 
ground as Kant's work on the * Natural History of the 
Heavens,' which made its unregarded appearance in 1755. 
His * Neues Organon,' published in 1764, was an attempt 
to bring the abstract laws of thought to bear upon the 
conditions of experimental knowledge. 

It was this man who in 1765 wrote to Kant, and 
suggested that the communication of their respective 
ideas, and combined action with divided labour, might 
bring them with greater rapidity to the results in which 
they were alike interested. In his reply Kant states 
that '' after many and many a tack he has at last reached 
a firm conviction as to the method which ought to be 
employed if escape is ever to be made from the ilbisAtY 


and pretended knowledge known as metapliyBics." "AD' 
his efforts culminate," lie Bays, " in b search for the pro- 
_,|ier method of metaphyaica." Meanwhile he proposes ^ 
a with two minor works of a more real use, ' Mets 
jhjaical Elements of Natural Philosophy,' and ' 
Ajaical Elements of Practical Philosophy.' In 17T0 
■ahout a month after his dissertation) he again teQ 
lamhert: "It is now nearly a year since, as I flattei 
myself, I reached a conception, which I feel sura I bI 

: change, though I may extend it : a concep^oq 
Srhich enables us to test all sorts of metaphysical quet 

a by perfectly certain and easy criteria, and to 
& decision as to how far they are soluble or not" 
teems," he adds, "that metaphysics should be pre 

Y a special, though merely negative, science, in wU 

the first principles of sense have their authority ai 

their limits fixed, to prevent tliem introducing i 

sion into judgments about objects of pure reason, 

5 liitherto almost always been the case." 

It would thus appear that in the year 1765 Kant h 

_ e a work on tlie 'Proper Method of Meta 

physic.' It is preserved for us only in thf 

negative chapters of the 'Dreams of a Visionary,' T( 

account for the non-appearance of the work, or for it 

Folonged delays and final issue in a difibrent shape i 

BT'SI, some critics have referred to tlie publication of th 

pH'oiiveaux Essais' of Leibnitz. That work, whidi il 

author Intended as a confutation of the views of Lodn 

had been kept back, originally in consequetice of t3 

English philosopher's death, and did not ultimately n 

■ the light till 1765. It is no doubt probable that ti 

toblems suggested by Leibnitz had much to do i 

Literary Plans. 57 

determining the direction of his thoughts. But if we 
depend upon the evidence to be drawn from references 
in his own writings, Locke's Essay had ahnost as much 
to do as that of Leibnitz in giving form and tone to his 

According to a remark of Kant himself in a letter to 
Mendelssohn, the *Kritik,' though "the product of re- 
flection of a space of at least twelve years, was written 
in the course of between four to five months." Of the 
course of preparation for the * Kritik ' thus indicated to 
have begun in 1769, Kant's letters to Marcus Herz of 
Berlin give a faithful record in occasional glimpses. 
On 7th June 1771 he writes, that in consequence of the 
difficulties raised by Mendelssohn and Lambert apropos 
of the doctrines of his dissertation, he is engaged upon 
a work on the * Boundaries of Sense and Keason,' the 
materials for which he has gone through during the past 
winter, sifting, weighing, and adjusting, so that he has 
only lately arrived at a definite plan. He adds, how- 
ever, that the state of his health only allows him to 
employ for this purpose moments of good humour, and 
obliges him to devote the rest of the time to comfort and 
slight recreations. Li February 21, 1772, it appears that 
the prospect of a speedy realisation of these plans had 
increased "He is now," he says, "in a position to 
propound a criticism of the pure reason, including the 
nature of theoretical as well as of practical knowledge, 
so far as the latter is intellectual;" and of this he "pro- 
poses first to complete the earlier part, dealing with the 
sources of metaphysic, its method and limits, within the 
space of three months.' But those who looked for the 
book in the lists of the Leipsic Easter Fair of 1772 

|r58 ^anL 

would be din^ppmnteiL Towanls the end of 1773 h 

offers escnsea for Us failtue to pat in an appearance, n 

the ground that a new science, which is to give a ne* 

tam to philosophy, and which, while it mokes philo* 

ophy do better service to religion and morals, will alao; 

. make it etrict enough to satisfy the sternest mathfr 

k natician, cannot be the work of a short tim& Agaiitji 

B on the 34th S'OTcmber 1776, describing his essay a 

Keritacism, a discipline, a canon, and an architectonic at 

Kpure reason," which 'will tell with certainty whethsi K 

■ »e on the soil of trae reasoning or false subtalty, Iw 
I Adds : " With this work I do not expect to be ready 

■ before Easter, but look forward to spending on it a poN 
I tion of next snmmer, so for as the constant inberruptionC 
l.lrom bad health will let me work." On the StKh' 
I August 1777 he again speaks of the criticism of t 
E Jmre reason as a stone in the way of all other ente» 
. prises ; that winter, however, he hopes to have got ovtst 

all difBculties, and to present his views in a clear an 
distinct form. And so on during the years 1778 t 
1780 he continues partly to excuse to his correspondent! 
the continued non-appearance of the promised vorl^ 
partly to name a near day for its publication. 

At last, in the beginning of 1781, the manuscript yt 
L sent to the printer at Halle. By the end of Mar 

■ Kant had received in proof some thirty sheets,— 
I'tiian half the work; and in the beginning of JunA 
Kthero appeared at the Easter Fair of Leipsic the 'Critik 

■ der reinen Yemnnft, von Tmmanuet Kant, Professor in 
■Konigsberg.' The volume, published by Hartknoch c 
■Biga, consisted of 8S6 pp. 8vo, costing in ordinujf 
■paper 2 thalers 16 silbergtoschen, and in better papa 

Publication of the ' Kritik,' 59 

(Schreibpapier), 4 thalers. Kant asked no fee for his 
work ; but Hartknocli gave him 4 thalers a sheet, which 
would make in all less than 200 thalers, or about £30, 
for the first edition of the work. The later editions 
were paid for separately. The book was dedicated to 
Zedlitz, the celebrated Minister of Frederick and patron 
of liberal culture in Prussia. And in the words of 
Schopenhauer: "It is certainly not the least of the 
merits of Frederick the Great, that under his rule Kant 
could develop and publish the * Criticism of Pure Kea- 
son.' A salaried professor would scarcely have dared 
to do anything of the sort under another Government" 
Of Zedlitz himself and his relations with Kant some- 
thing has already been said. Their first public relations 
began in a way rather characteristic of the despotic 
methods current with the liberal reformers of the period. 
In 1775 the Government of East Prussia received a 
mandate from Berlin, in which Zedlitz, referring to 
certain statistics which had been furnished as to the 
condition of the Konigsberg University, commented in 
severe terms on the general backwardness and obsolete 
methods of the professors. " Excepting a few teachers, 
notably Professors Kant and Eeusch, they use text- 
books long since shelved by more able modem works." 
Certain lecturers are informed that if they are deter- 
mined to adhere to the system of Crusius (the more 
orthodox antagonist of Wolf), they should betake 
themselves to other subjects than philosophy. Professor 
Braun in particular is directed to make his courses less 
prolix. Great must have been the stirring among the 
dry bones by this dictatorial edict of the Prussian min- 
ister of education. 


I At the first publication of the 'Kritik' in 1781, ti* 

Bignifieance of the work was iinfelt To mincls 

fteped in the prejudices of the current metaphysics a 

t to minds imbued with the current prejudices 

mat metaphysics, it was a sealed book. To ths 

3omed like killing a dead dog, and the fonnet 

wUeved it to be only another of the idealistic theories 

f which specimens were already too common. Except 

^ few friends of the author and a casual reader here and 

lere, the book found no demand, and the publish^ 

I to feel anxious. Kant's long abstinence from 

terary labour had not been favourable to the i 

lanco of a style which even at his best had wanted 

mplicity and directness. And now he was no longer 

me living contact with his pupils as ia 

JnyB of his pi-ivai-doaentahip. He writes to Hei 

■778, "I have almost no private acquaintance -mSxia^ 


It was about haH a year after the appearanee of 

book that the first review of it was published. ' 

' Gelahrte Anzeigen ' of Gottingen for the 19th Saaxaaf 

1782 contained a nine-page notice of the 'Kritik.' S 

began with the statement ; " This work . . . ia a aysteia 

of the higher or transcendental idealism, — an idei 

^ which embraces both mind and matter, transforms Uh^' 

■ irorld and ourselves into ideas, and represents the olw 

ective world aa derived from appearances which th» 

aderatanding combinea in the interdependent whole ot 

ence. . . . The cause of these ideas is to na ut 

1 and unknowable," It compared the first ahaj 

n which Kant argues for the phenomenal chaHtcM 

mt& apace and time, with the idealistic theory of Berkel^jl 

Reviews of the *Kritik! CI 

The review, originally written by Professor Garve of 
Ereslau (a well-known essayist on ethical topics), and 
subsequently curtailed and modified by J. G. Feder, an 
eclectic philosopher of the day, was probably as good as 
could have been expected. It classified the new pheno- 
menon under the customary labels of the philosophical 
reviewer, showed how similar things had been said 
before, and called attention to the old metaphysics 
which lurked under the new and awkward terminology. 
The attacks on metaphysical and natural theology, 
which formed the main theme of the second and larger 
half of the " elementary " theory, seemed to be wasted 
labour for those who, while not directly rejecting the 
scholastic methods, still declined to take them au 


It was difficult for ordinary minds to imagine that 
here at length had come a man who was in earnest 
about philosophy. His was a mind of which the main 
attribute was thoroughness and consistency. The con- 
scious or uilconscious sophistry by which the majority 
of men, then as always, can accept a doctrine and yet 
implicitly deny it, was to Kant an impossibility. To 
him half-truths were an abomination. "Whatever on 
rational grounds is found good for theory is also good 
for practice." The business of philosophy, in the true 
sense of the word, is to answer three questions — (1) 
What can I know? (2) What ought I to do? (3) 
What may I hope for? Towards answering these ques- 
tions, the highest questions which can interest human 
beings, Kant directs his whole efforts in those great 
Critical essays. 

Kant) therefore, severely as he often speaks of meta- 


phf aicB, is a lover of metaphysics after alL Not, indeed,, 
of the dogmatic metaphysics of the schools — " the matro% 
,- cast off and desolate " — hut a younger metaphysics whidi 
EB the dream of his own fond hopes, — a mistress of it 
e says, hia fate is to he enamoured, though he e 
" boast of any favours he has ever received from her. . 
metaphysical system, he says in one place, has never yi 
been written ; and then, in another, he tells us his coa- 
viction that on metaphysics depends the true and peD- 
manent welfare of the human race. This antithesis in 
Kant's own mind is constantly reflected in his exposi- 
tion, where he seems at once the enemy and the devotee 
letaphysics. In hia eagerness to save metaphysics 
ever, he seemed to have laid disproportionate e 
Fphasis on the means. 

It would naturally he said : "Thus, then, all reality 
is maintained to be reaHty in our conscionsneBa. 
[b a new system of idealimo, according to which all things 
I existence otdy in the mind of the thinker.* 
A idealistic interpretation of his work annoyed Kant 
isiderably. Ho saw liis supplementary thesis stated' 
n a one-sided manner, and presented as the chief d 
i the boot. The extent to which this feeling went ij 
pevidenced by the numerous passages of notes, written <J 
scraps of paper and backs of letters, still preserved ia 
the University Library of Konigaherg. A large numbeto£ 
them bear the heading, " Wider den Idealism" ("Againafc 
lidealism "). Again and again ho had to wrestle with U 
Biemy which he had thus unwittingly evoked s 

juself. The final precipitate from the efferveooenM 
thus produced was the chapter entitled " ConfutatiDii 
Idealism," in the second edition of the 'Kritife,' 

* Prolegomena to Metaphysics* 63 

Previously, however, the " Prolegomena to every 
future metaphysical system which lays claim to a scien- 
tific character," had appeared in the heginning of 1783. 
Originally intended as an extract, or perhaps abstract, of 
the original work, the 'Prolegomena' had gradually 
grown to have a substantive purpose of their own. They 
accentuate the question as more distinctly a critical one. 
Is philosophy, as the science of what is beyond mere 
experience, possible? Is all knowledge an intelligent 
aggregation of sensations ? And if there be a knowledge 
which anticipates and even regulates experience, how is 
this knowledge to be accounted for, and on what condi- 
tions or within what limits has it independent validity ? 
The * Prolegomena,' whilst forming an introduction to 
the more prolix work, tend at the same time to give an 
imperfect, and occasionally a misleading, conception of 
its fundamental aims. 

But from the publication of the * Prolegomena ' early 
in 1783 to that of the 'Criticism of the Power of 
Judgment' (*Kritik der Urtheilskraft ') in 1790, Kant 
was incessantly issuing instalment after instalment, 
intended to complete in detail what had been already 
laid down in its larger outlines. Feeling the shades 
of the night already creeping over him, — that night 
in which no man can work, — he was eager to leave 
nothing unaccomplished of the edifice which in his 
mind's eye had been gradually assuming grander pro- 
portions and clearer lineaments. Between the first 
'Elritik' and the last, the '^foundation for the Meta- 
physic of Ethic' in 1785, the * Metaphysical Eudiments 
of Natural Philosophy' in 1786, the second edition 
of the 'Criticism of Pure Eeason' in 1787, and the 



'Criticism of Practical Keaaon' in 1788, al 

tlie 'Prolegomena' in. 1783, form the principal works otl 

the intervening period. But these important works dft'l 

not exhaiist the list of Kant's vrritinga during the period \ 

named. The Berlin ' Monatsachrift ' between 1784 and | 

1786 contained aeven papers hy him on questioi 

era! philosophy, and a smaller numher appeared in oth 

periodicals. Considering that Kant at the beginning a 

this ten years' period was fifty-seven years of age, oiJ 

cannot hut admire the energy which the old man shoved 

in the eJahoration of his system. 

For from the publication of the ' Kritik ' dates t 
existence of a Kantian system of philosophy. At flist, i 
indeed, he claimed to do no more than to prepare the 
ground for a system of philosophy which is hereafter to 
come. But ere long the critical attitude and analysii 
began to take the rank of a critical system in the mind j 
of the author himself. Criticism became the Critical or 
Transcendental Philosophy. Ami with its assumption 
of the rank of a system, the Kantian theory gathered 
adherents and opponents. Kant welcomed even a mild 
attention to his hook. A review in the ' Gelehrte Zeit- 
ungen' of Gotha (August 1782) pleased him, though it 
was hardly more than a collection of extracts from the 
thinning of the ' Kritik.' " I am obliged to the leamed 
public," he says towards the close of the ' Prol^omeiM,' 
in a passage where the consciousness of genius uungleB < 
with the ofiended vanity of the author — "I ai 
even for the silence wilh which it has honoured 1 
' Kritik ' throughout a considerable time " (vtdelieet, u 
than a year) : " for this silence at any rate evineas a i 
pension of judgment, and a suspicion that after all, i 

AttUvde of the Reviewers. 65 

work which abandons every accustomed path and strikes 
into a new one which at first feels strange, there may be 
something calculated to give new life and fertility to an 
important, but now dead, branch of human knowledge, 
— evinces, in short, an anxiety not to break off and to 
destroy the yet tender shoot by a premature judgment." 
When reviewers did appear, they were not less casual 
and unsatisfactory than they generally are. Few perhaps 
were so inept as a critic of 1784, who remarked: "It 
were to be wished that the author had written in French 
or Latin; perhaps he would have succeeded in being 
more intelligible in style, and by becoming known to 
foreigners, would bring honour to Germany." Another 
critic (Meiners), irritated by the scholastic terminology 
and dialectical subtilty of Kant's work, compared him 
to the indolent and corrupt Greeks in the time of the 
old sophists and later dialecticians. 

On the other hand, there appeared in 1784 * Explana- 
tions of Professor Kant's Criticism of Pure Eeason,' from 
the hand of Johann Schultz, at that time chaplain to the 
Court in Kdnigsberg, and subsequently professor of 
mathematics. The elucidations (*Erlauterungen') had 
had the benefit of Kant's assistance and approval ; but 
after all, they were only an aid for dull or indolent 
readers, and added nothing of independent value. The 
newly established * Allgemeine Literaturzeitung ' of Jena, 
with Schiitz and Hufeland at its head, helped to spread 
abroad the new doctrines. An article in the beginning 
of 1786 pronounced the publication of the *Kritik' the 
advent of a new epoch of philosophy, the beginning of a 
revolution. And in the * Deutscher Mercur ' of August 
1786 there appeared the first of a series of papers, in 

p. — ^v. "a 

^K Kant. 

^pllich Beinhold constituted himself the expositor of tha 

^pew system in its moral anil religious aspects. 

H The publication of the ' Foundation of the Metaph^a 

^H Ethics,' in the spring of 1785, had been looked for- 

^vaid to TCith much interest, as it was known that Kant 

^ad been engaged since the year 1782 in the preparatic 

of such a work. To the general public, and indeed to 

many of hia specinl disciples, the ethical portions 

by far the moat attractive in the system. The ' Critk 

cism of the Pure Keason ' had been cold, almost aceptica) 

in tone : it was positive only in its logical system or it 

theory of knowledge ; in its application to metaphydcl 

it was negative, and even destructive. The moral treatisei 

were in a more enthusiastic and inspiring mood. If 

as a phenomenon was but part of the blind chain of 

■ttause and effect, as an intelligible being ho was me 

Hjf a world of freedom, of self-detenuination, possessed c£ 

^■i absolute faculty of initiation. The august ideas d 

^■Ety and the moral law were presented with a powei! 

^bd conviction which came like fresh bracing aii amonj 

^Be close and relaxing latitudes of an age accustomed ii 

^Ktorals to hoar nothing but a commonplace eudeemoniBm 

^Ksd the hopes which crave for God and eternal ]ifi| 

Hbtind themselves in a kindred atmosphere, when 3i6;f 

^icard of the presuppositions required for the realisation 

of the idea embodied in the law of duty, We need not 

be surprised, therefore, to hear that the first eilition of 

Ht^B 'Grundlegung zur Metapbysik der Sitten' was eX" 

^■austed in a few montlis, and that a reprint (or almost 

Hllch) was issued in 1786. It is, in fact, with the Bp< 

^Bearance of this work that pubhc attention was 

BjEtlled to the iiuw pliilosophy, and from that students 

Second Edition of the ' KrUih 67 

turned back to the hitherto neglected * Kritik der roinen 

The other work of Kant's belonging to this period is 
the * Metaphysische Anfangsgriinde der Naturwissen- 
schaft.' Written apparently in the summer of 1785, it 
was published in 1786. It throws incidental light on 
some points of Kant's general philosophy, but is not 
very closely connected with the systematic development 
of his thought. More direct bearing in that line may 
be found in the shorter essays of the years between 
1784 and 1786, which have reference to the theistic 
philosophy of Mendelssohn. 

In 1787 appeared the second edition of the 'Criticism 
of Pure Eeason.' By April 1786 the stock of the first 
edition had, his publisher informed him, been exhausted. 
Probably the duties imposed upon Kant by his rector- 
ship in that year delayed the appearance of a new 
edition. By April 1787 the manuscript was, however, 
ready. In the Konigsberg University Library there is 
preserved Elant's own copy of the first edition of the 
'Kritik,' containing numerous marginal notes by his 
own hand, partly corrections and partly additions, which, 
however, are only to a small extent identical with the 
alterations actually foimd in the second edition. These 
explanatory remarks, recently published by Professor 
Benno Erdmann, show the secrets of Kant's workshop, 
and indicate the patient energy which led liim, with 
absolute devotion to the completion of the edifice of his 
philosophy, to grudge even time for correspondence and 
for the lighter pleasures of society. With the issue of 
the second edition, however, Kant's interest in the text 
of the * Kritik ' was at an end. Only in the fifth edition 

(1799) did he aBaw fha iMti tioa of certain coirecttaB 
witkfa a ftjcndlf eje had aoggested. 

Ui* aU^ttkn Itecettftcr was ilirecteil almost exdoi- 
«f«l]r to eiuvui^ tfae wtnk of eiiticism in morsls laii 
He £eit tint tfaere waa still wotk to b« doD» 
li he alone emid do. " I am now well up in jeas,* 
I writes to Frofeaaor Sdiiitz of Jena in Septonlxs 

i, "and no longer po^MSS the same facility & 
ttiy of mddenly divBrtiiig my thonghta to works of 
iffeient kind. I must keep my thoughts togeths 
, intermption, if I am not to lose the thread 
ich connects the whole eystcm," And in 1787, 
eclining to write an article for the same editoi^ 
"The time fails me, because I must withonb 
' proceed to the foundation of the criticism of' 
ITie 'Kritik der Praktischen Vemunft,' pulh 
in 1788, ended his laboura so far as the ethical' 
Bstion is toncemed. And with the ' Criticism of ths 
tadgment-Powor ' ('Kritik der TJrtheilskraft ') in 17M^ 
lying out in an extended form the intentions of t 
^ticism of taste, which had occupied him at least d 
S close of 1787, the Critical philosophy may he t 
lavo been complete. 

■t the time of the publication of this last 'Kritik,' I 
d reached the ago of sixty-six. Other evidences col 
ate hie own impression, that his versatility wa 
ninishing — tliat ho was growing less and less able t 
enter into the viows and criticisms of others. Occupied 
in exomplifying in various departments the princuplff 
d«fi»od by the tit^t 'Kritik,' he seldom read the luca 
« eitlier of adherents or of nd^'eKarie6. 
yeua >gUk" liQ writes to Koiahold in January 179| 

Completion of his Plan. 69 

" my health, without visible cause and real illness, suf- 
fered a sudden revolution, which speedily threw my 
appetite out of its ordinary daily enjoyment; and in 
this way, though my bodily forces and feelings sus- 
tained no injury, the capacity for brain-work and even 
for reading my lectures suffered a great alteration. It is 
only for between two and three hours in the forenoon 
that I can persistently devote myself to head-work : 
then, however well I may have slept at night, sleepiness 
is sure to come on, and I am compelled to work only 
at intervals. Thus work makes poor progress, and I 
must wait for a happy mood and make the best of it." 
Yet in 1790 he was still able to offer a vigorous retort 
to the attempt of Eberhard to show that Kantism was 
only the repetition of an old doctrine, instead of being, 
as its admirers claimed, the inauguration of a new phil- 
osophic era. And when the Berlin Academy, perhaps 
with insidious allusion to Kantism, proposed a prize (in 
1791) for the best essay on the question of the real 
advances made by metaphysics in Germany since the 
days of Leibnitz and Wolf, the veteran sat down to 
criticise the problem, and to answer it from the point of 
view which his own development had reached. The 
fragments of his essay, pieced together by his editor, 
Eink, have a peculiar interest as the last and most dis- 
tinct utterance by Kant of his own conception of what 
he claimed to have done for philosophy. They form a 
valuable aid to the study of his more detailed work. 
" Religion," says Kant repeatedly, " is the recognition 
of our duties as Divine commands. Morality is the 
foundation, — religion only adds the new and com- 
manding point of view." With such presuppositions. 

I passio: 

^ M tabli 

I leadia 

70 Kant, 

Kant, when he was nearly seventy years of age, tmder- 
took to test the moral content in the dogmas of religion, 
— to oxpaiind how for unassisted reason can detennine 
the relations between God and man. In all public religi- 
0U8 obseTvance there is, according to hini, an element of 
accommodation to the weakness of the multitude, — there 
is a tincture of superstition. Even tlic sacred hook^ in 
which the statutes fundamental to any creed are con> 
tained, are marred by weaknesses and imperfection* 
It ought to be the object of the philosopher to sabmife 
these complex systems and bodies of doctrine to an 
examination, which shall show the troe gold of mniBl, 
truth free from the dross accumulated by the htmiEiii 
passions which have burned in the fire of reason. Evety 
established religion — and Christianity among the nuiU' 
■must for the scholar and tlie thinker undergo sndi 
iticism. The result is, that Kant finds in the Chria- 
pictorial, but on that account probably mi^ 
leading, exposition of the religion of morality ati 
reason, — he finds the ideas of reason personified in ideal 
forms, and the universal laws of human nature and 
development presented as individual incidents in the 
history of individual men. He finds a belief commonly 
held by the religious world, that a direct and senanona 
interference takes place between God and the world; 
a belief in the efiicacy of special ceremonies, in the 
quaxi magical power of rit«s and forms ; and a failure 
to rec<^nise that there are n» otlier duties specifically 
distinct from tike duty of man to man, and entitled to 
tank in a Iiigher category as duties towards God. 

These doctrines, which are implicit in the Kantisu 
writings prenous to this dat«, were first publicly and 

Orthodoxy in Power. 71 

separately annotmced in an essay on the " Eadical Evil 
in Human Nature," which appeared in 1792 in the 
* Monatsschrif t ' of Berlin. Its publication, however, was 
not without obstacles. In 1786 a new king came to 
the throne with " sensualities, unctuous religiosities, 
ostentations, imbecilities." Two years after, Zedlitz, the 
patron of philosophy and liberalism, was forced to retire, 
and was replaced by J. C. Wdllner, an ex-preacher, not 
without ability or dispositions towards learning, but 
prejudiced in the interests of orthodoxy. The first 
energies of the new administration were directed to- 
wards stemming the rising tide of criticism in matters 
of faitL Deposition from office was the penalty for 
any religious teacher who gave expression in his post to 
unorthodox or sceptical opinions. There followed this 
an edict establishing a censorship of the press. Matters 
became more serious when, in 1791, a commission of 
three members — Hermes, Woltersdorff, and Hilmer — 
was instituted to test the doctrines and opinions of every 
nominee to an educational or ecclesiastical appointment, 
as well as to supervise churches and schools throughout 
the country. From the very first Kant and his philo- 
sophy were objects of suspicion to the new censorship ; 
but with the development of the French Eevolution 
the reactionary party in Prussia gathered strength, and 
increased their precautionary measures. Friends of 
liberty and admirers of the French nation were treated 
as enemies of Prussia and traitors to her king. In 1792, 
an edict forbade, under penalties, any depreciatory refer- 
ences to the administration of the country. In the same 
year appeared Humboldt's essay defining the limits of 
state action. ^ 

72 Kant. 

Kant's article on the "Radical Evil in Hnnun 
Nature," submitted by its author's request to the Berlin 
ceoBorship, was passed by Hilmer with the remark th*t 
"None but profound echokra read Kant." The second 
article, "On the Fight of the Good Principle against 
the Bad for the Dominion over Man," similarly destined 
for the Berlin ' Monatsachrift,' met a different fiite. The 
imprimatur was refused. Kant resorted to anoQter 
method for securing publication. He submitted hi« 
essay and two others, in continuation of the theme, to 
the theological faculty of his own university, wbidl 
granted the requisite pemuBsaion, and in 1793 the work, 
composed of the four papers, appeared at Konigsbeig aa 
'Religion within the Boundaries of mere Reason' 
('Religion innerhalb dcr Grenzen der blossen Vemunft"). 
In the preface to the work he explains the gronnda of 
his proeedura " A treatise," he aiguos, " which is of the 
nature of a purely scientific inquiry, and has no dinct< 
bearing upon edification in religious life, falls natnially 
under the cenaorship, not of a body appointed to guard 
the welfare of the unlearned multitude, but of a body 
specially intrusted— such as a university faculty— -with 
the maintenance of scientific culture." 

Such reasoning did not find acceptance with the cen- 
sors at Berlin. Angry at this attempt to escape their 
authority, and not conciliated by the appearance of & 
second edition of the work in 1794, they solicited the 
intervention of the Government. On the 1st October 
1794 a Cabinet order reached "the worthy and blgh- 
leomed our professor, also dear liege, Kant." 

"Our gracious greeting first Worthy and htgh-leemed, 
dear liegeman, onr highest Person has already t 

KarU Rebuked. 73 

siderable time observed with much dissatisfEwtion how ye 
misuse your philosophy to disfigure and depreciate many 
head and foundation doctrines of the Holy Scripture and 
Christianity : which thing ye have especially done in your 
book, * Religion within the Boundaries of mere Reason/ and 
likewise in other shorter treatises. We had expected better 
things of you ; for ye must see yourself how little your action 
herein answers to your duty as teacher of youth, and to our 
paternal interests in the land, whereof ye are well aware. 
We desire at the earliest your most conscientious conformity, 
and expect of you, if ye would avoid our highest disfavour, 
that ye henceforth be found guilty of no such acts, but rather, 
as your duty bids, apply your influence and talents so that 
our paternal intention may be more and more attained : con- 
trariwise, with continued obstinacy, ye have infallibly to ex- 
pect unpleasant measures." 

The document, signed by Wollner, was presented to 
Kant on October 12tL Kant said nothing about it 
at the time ; and it was not till the publication of his 
essays on the " Quarrel between the faculties " (" Streit 
der Facultaten") in 1798 — four years afterwards — that 

he made this " Retract or " order known. His reply 

to the charges was — 1st, that as a teacher of youth {i,e,, in 
his academic lectures) he had never meddled either with 
the Bible or with Christianity; 2d, that the incriminated 
book was not work destined or suitable for general read- 
ing ; 3d, that it treated of natural religion, and only by 
way of illustration of revealed dogma ; 4th, that he had 
always called attention to the high morality contained in 
the Bible. 

" Finally," he said, " as I have always recommended others 
in confessing their faith to be always and above all things 
conscientious and upright, and never to state more about it, 
or impress upon others as articles of faith) mot^ ^N^^asL >3cks?j 



are themselves certain of, so I have always conceived tliia 
judge in myself as standing by my side during the compoffl- 
tion of my writings, bo as to keep myself free not merely from 
every Honl-deBtroying error, hnt even from every careleaantaa 
in. expression which might cause offence. And thna even 
now in my seventy-first year, when the thought will often 
arise tliut I may very likely have to give account of all Ihia 
in a short time before a world-judge who tnnwa the heart, I 
can nndismayed hand in the present answer aa one made in 
fiill conscientiousnesa. As to the second point— to be guilty 
of no such (alleged) disfiguring and depreciating of Christiaii- 
ity — in future, I think it my surest course, so aa to prevenl 
even the slightest suspicion on the matter, to make my moet 
Bolenm declaration, ai your Royal Majat^s most fadthjul mb- 
jeet, that henceforth, both in lectures and in writings, I flill 
completely refrain from all pubUe deliverances on the topic 
of religion, natural as well as revealed." 

"The Tvords in italics," adds Kant in a note, "I choae 
purposely, so that I did not resign the freedom of my 
judgment in this religious question for ever, but only 
during the life of his Majesty." It is clear at least that 
in Kant's opinion there was in this reservation no quib- 
bling, — nothing which was morally unjustifiable, 
yet the language leaves behind in the reader a 
of dissatisfactioa and disapproval. There is so 
in the aigument, and unnecessary siurender in the 
tude. The old man, so courageous in his books, 
coward before his king. Let age and infirmi ty plead 
him; and let bis teaching wipe away the evil of 




Whilb the sage of Konigsberg had been thus rebuked 
and silenced for the time by a reactionary Government, 
his name was spread far and wide by those who had 
found new life in his writings, or had been inspired 
with zealous discipleship by his lectures. For the last 
seven years — since 1786 or thereabouts — ^his philosophy 
had made itself felt in that emphatic way in which a sys- 
tem sometimes takes possession of the world lying out- 
side of the schools of the philosophers. In the words 
of Schiller, a new light was kindled for mankind. " In 
a hundred years," said the enthusiastic Eeinhold, " Kant 
will have the reputation of Jesus Christ." Baggesen, 
the Danish poet, gave Kant the extravagant title of a 
"Second Messias." In 1788 Kiesewetter, then a young 
man, went from Berlin to Konigsberg to see face to face 
the new prophet that had appeared, and to learn the 
secret of Kant on the spot. Every alternate day during 
his visits in the closing months of 1788 and 1791 he 
enjoyed the privilege of spending the hour between 
eleven and noon with Kant, hearing and asking ques- 
tions, and sometimes even carrying off a written atat^ 

76 Kant. 

ment in Kant's own liand on the topics which t 
discussed. In 1789 Ejesewettei had begun to led 
at Berlin on the Criticism of the Practical Beason, « 

the espresg approval of his Excellency WoUner, bntT 
with a liint from other quaxtcis to be careful i 
allusions to matters of faith- Kiesewetter himself kd I 
a Tiaive confidence in the imposflibility of conflict Im-I 
tween Kantian philosophy and Christian faitli. 
convinced," he says, in a letter to Kant (March. 4 
1790), "that the principle of your moral system B 
be distinctly shown to be compatible with < 
ity : perhaps even, that if Christ had heard and unda 
stood you. He would have said — Exactly, that was litW 
very thing I meant by 'Thou shaJt love the Lord thyl 
God,' Ac" 

In 1793 a similar mission brought Professor I 
the University of Wiirzbu]^ to Koiiigsberg to satiaf? % 
mind on some doubtful iwints in Kant's works, 
this is only a sample of the stirring among the yonngar' 
German professors to Icam the new philosophy at its 
living sourue. By the year 1792 the Critical philo- 
sophy had adherents in the teaching staff of mod 
Grermon universities. Catholic even more than Bfl 
testant universities were among the scenes of its fiiff 
triumplis ; for in Protestant nniversitiee, said Kisu^ 
every professor of philosophy imt^ines liimself an 
original philosopher. At Mayence, Heidelbeig, Ingotf 
stadt, Erfurt, and Bambeig j at Halle, Jena, Gott 
Harburg, and Giesson, one or another profess 
on the system of Kant 

Even in England Kantism attempte<l to set foot 1 
Uw! beginning of 1794, Fr, A. Nilscli, n Lithuanian, e 

Kdntism in JEngland, 77 

teacher in the Collegium Friderieianum, a pupil and 
enthusiastic admirer of Kant, anxious also to advance 
his own position, came to London, and in March 
issued "proposals for a course of lectures on the per- 
ceptive and reasoning faculties of the mind, according 
to the principles of Professor Kant." He hegan hy 
three gratuitous lectures introductory to the suhject — 
the first of which, lasting for an hour and a half, was 
delivered hefore an aristocratic audience, including some 
ladies. His efforts produced so favourable an impres- 
sion, that a subsequent course of thirty-six lectures at 
a fee of three guineas was attended by a considerable 
class, and had to be repeated in the autumn of the same 
year. The substance of the lectures was ultimately pub- 
lished in 1796, under the title of * A General and Intro- 
ductory view of Professor Kant's principles concerning 
Man, the World, and the Deity, submitted to the con- 
sideration of the learned' In 1798 A. F. M Willich, 
from Ermeland (the district near Elbing), published a 
book on the 'Elements of the Critical Philosophy.' 
But the Philistine public and its reviewers gave but 
a sneering welcome to the enthusiasts of the new 
philosophy. Its bristling nomenclature disgusted them ; 
its teachings seemed doubtfully reconcilable with ortho- 
doxy. They used to its advocate the same language as 
the Saracen commander in the fable adopted when 
asked what was to be done with the books of the great 
hbrary at Alexandria. If these new philosophic theories 
accord with the lessons of our Koran, what need of the 
mystery and doubt under which they wrap the plain 
Bible truth 1 And if they disagree, why not leave them 
to the obscurities of an unknown tongue ? Kot less grudg- 



iB Kant. 

ing, probably, ■was the reception accorded to a tranfiktion, 
under the title of ' Kant'a Essays and Trefttises " (i 
volumos, 1798), of several of the minor works. Ilwu 
the performance of a young Englishman named Job 
Kichardson, who had studied at Halle under Betk (s 
translation of whose Principles of the Critical Philosophj 
he pubHshed at London in 1798). 

In France an attempt was made to introduce the know- 
ledge of Kant by Charles de ViUers (1765-1815), at 
in some journalistic articles, in his 'Lettres Wi 
iennes' (1797), and latterly in his ' Philosophie de 
ou principea fondamentaux de ta philosophie 
dentale' (Meta, 1801). The attempt ivaa apparently 
failure. Thinkers like Lalande, trained in 
ioal sciences, and explaining everything by ideas derii 
from them, accused Kant of wishing by hia ideas 
God, liberty, and immortality, to throw the world 
to the epochs when these mystical cliiineras obtained 
lief. The literary world in France, as in England, tiwt 
the new speculations with j>ers!jlage or inditTerence. Hot 
till Cousin brought the support of his eloquence conld 
France begin to see that the philosophy of Genaany 
might be as well worth attention aa its literature. 

In the Netherlands Kant found adherents as early 
1792, who expounded his views. In Italy it 
work of Villera above mentioned, together with a Fi 
translation of a Dutch work, containing an exposition, 
the gist of the 'Criticism of Pure Eeason,' which in 
first twenty years of the present century gave the earl 
indirect knowledge of Kantism. In Austria, if wo 
cept the Jew Bendavid, who published some treatises 
Kantian philosophy, the system made little impression 


JBrrm ^wm ^fmrr: 

te ichiiiik. 3ttr .r'^wa Tsorm-- .'i.'iU'.irL \ lac i Ixox 
mgp rf»y7iMTwwM» ri: he- -QEfiTt c. i^tsniisu.! oiinsiiB 
I scKpiL HL k. JBzic- ■«" im^sarr ihjl. j. 722. ^- 
rcd a lifiS&si. -TOXtezE. n: cnxEDUsa- .f&iwx.\ t : ift « lar- 
ly HffWi <ic CTitThpy. jbol ■TrrrnrnimtiDi. :i' m- lui- 
cl[ B fflaxBon. 3rwnrtfn:- Farm tiq: lircficc: sol 

PwiffpTCTy TT i'a!nTttHiL„LHn!.ftggn::M-3iiiiqwr-^ "*\T<Bek' 

ik& -dnmuBUS: li: iis! -ettsftr: UaMmB m 

e; aid dis: *&iik enwttnirw- . ^'JrBii Tsmneif n, srr 
i, amd .gm* lue emKokdzoL ac icaadeamttioL. : '.itkauh 
ic of iB&hifSF ' liiCTit I jsuL xogsstttsr vritL tiftE- ott^ 
al iznpeoBlirve-; !he^ HHr .nimghi : narjwHoi. kffws 
rbecL I iffiad it miMt : an answer, I impbKr titee, or 
caiffit not ilriFBBlf axsb on &r Huiliiyrtmli vt' iiupsn»- 
" Haw IKanl jnplied ^ imk&0wxi; bm iik lepbr 
erideoxllj couched in gongmiitiaB. In a aecond 
r of JazLoarj 179S ahe legiiflBtE ium ao to ** tum iiis 
er lliat it may touch upon ihe iudhddual, and ndt 
Ij the uzuTeaBaL," -rhich ahe iiae already ui har 
d's side happily undexskKMi and felt in Kant e -vc^cn^ 
' she says, ^^ irheai this unhaarahle emptmess ifi gvit 
)^ my state of health pecmitB, I pmpoMi in a fern 
\ to take an excmdon to Konigsbeig. Hoir«T«r, I 
i first ask penniadon before preaenting xn^ywoU lA 
And you must tell me your history, for I «)um)i| 
to know what style of life your phiIoiK>)>lty hiM IchI 

80 Kant. 

you to, and whether it would not be wiWth your wliHs 
to take 3 wife, or devote yourself to some one with your 
whole heart, and leave an image of yourself Wiind." 
To this letter Kant made no reply, and in ITOi had the 
pleasure of a third letter from the lady, full of Kantian 
phrases, and repeating tho EtatemDnt about the proposed 
visit to Konigeberg. In 1804, about six months aftei 
Kant's death, she put an end to her own life, carrying out 
the idea of suicide which she had indulged and resisted 
for more than ten years. Her brother made a similar end 
about seven years later. The whole story is marked by the 
overdrawn sensibility, passionate abandonment, and mor- 
bid sensuality depicted in so many romances of the period. 
The fate of the Herberts leads naturaUy to speak of 
their acq^uaintance, J. B. Erhard, known in later life ae 
a Berlin physician, whose memoirs were published by 
Vamhagen von Ense. Erhard, who had begim the 
study of Kaatism in 1786, paid a visit to Kant in 1791, 
was very agreeably received, and continued ever af 
wards a fervent friend of Kant and adherent of 
Kantian philosophy. Here is the way in, vfhieh 
speaks in his autobiography : 

" All the enjoyment I received ia my life fades into notl 
when compared with the quivering emotion I felt in my w 
BDul at several passages of Kant's ' Criticism of the Practiral V 
Season.' Tears of highest joy burst forth again and again oi 
that hook ; and even the memory of these happy days of my J 
life always moistens my eyes, and gives iresh courage, i 
troubles of later days and sad thoughts slkut oat all chee 
outlook in tliis life. If my life becomes aa event i 
history of men, and not merely a means for preserving U 
human species : if I stand fast in the fight with the d 
pressing thought which the history of the time, like a hosti 

Fichte and Kant, 81 

demon, breathes into my soul, — the thought that the belief in 
the progress of mankind amid the weltering chaos of human 
affairs is only a nursery tale, told to keep the child from 
joining the crowded procession on the path of coarse enjoy- 
ment, and only an empty consolation for missing the jubila- 
tion of his comrades ; — if I resist this soul-depressing idea, 
it is thy work, my teacher, my spiritual father." 

Amongst the other arrivals in Konigsberg in those 
years was the young J. G. Fichte. He arrived in the 
beginning of July 1791, and introduced himself to the 
knowledge of Kant by a manuscript essay, — the * Essay 
in Criticism of all Eevelation,* — which proposed to carry 
out without reserve what Kant had as yet only done 
implicitly, and for those who could read between the 
line& The aged Kant naturally did not respond to the 
enthusiastic visions which the youth of twenty-nine had 
formed from the studies he had made in the philoso- 
pher's works. He glanced at passages in the new essay, 
and assisted Fichte to a post, but declined to discuss the 
issues involved in his own deliverances. For several 
years the two thinkers continued an intermittent cor- 
respondence. But when the outspoken criticisms of 
Fichte upon theological problems drew down upon him- 
self the suspicions of German Governments, and ulti- 
mately led to his withdrawal from Jena, Kant, grown 
cautious and cold with increasing age, sent to the 
" Intelligenzblatt " of the *Allgemeine Literatur-Zeit- 
ung,' No. 109 (1799), a formal disclaimer of any iden- 
tity in views between himself and the bold critic : — 

" I hold Fichte's Wissenschaftslehre to be a wholly unten- 
able system. . . . The presumption of crediting me with 
the intention of giving a mere propaedeutic to transcendental 
philosophy, and not the vei|r system of such a philosophy, 

P. — ^v. Y 


Mnprehensible. Sacli an idea could neret 
bave occuRied to me, for ! myself bail declared in the 
* Criticism of the Pme Reason ' that the completed whole ut 
pure philoeophy wan tlie iiegt (^■uorant^e of the truth nf tiu 
' Criticiwii.' . . . An Italian proTerb says : ' God preaerve ui 
fmin our friends ; we c&n defend oimelves i^ainst out 
enemies.' There aie su-i^alled friends, good-hearted, wdl- 
meoning people, but awkward and etupid in the •iiimtx of 
means to promote our views, — others, however, who m 
Mometimes deceptive, craity, bent on our ruin, and yet all the 
time using the language of goodwill. Before such people 
and the snares they lay we cannot be too mach on our giuid. 
Y«t for all that, the Critical philosophy, by ila irresistibl* 
tendency to satisfy the reason in theory ne well as in moisl 
practice, must feel that it has to fear no change of opinioni, 
no nniendments, or a different body of doctrine ; but that ths 
system of criticism rests on a perfectly sound basis, for ever 
fortified, and far all future ages is indispensable fop tha 
highest aims of humanity." 

Of the great men of hia country's literature on whom 
Kaiit exercised an inilueuce, Schiller should be firet 
nam»l ; and beside Schiller, his friend Wilhelm von 
Humboldt. Goathe, too, took note of the greater Eout- 
inn works, as he did of other interesting phenonuoa 
of his time. With tho 'Kritik der Urtheilskraft' 
WH8 particularly pleased; but tlie 'Categorical Impera- 
tive ' and till! ' Radical Evil in Human Nature,' were as 
thorns in liia side, Joan Paul Eichter found a kindled 
spirit in Kant'a moral writings : the Criticism of the 
RiiiiHon was his abhorrence. But if the-se authors found 
subject for admiration in Kant, to others his influenoe 
was highly objectionabla Herder nicknamed the vhole 
movomont a St Vitus's dance, and priestly fanatics gave 
their d<^ tlie name Knnt. 



KANT's last YBARa 

In 1794 Kant had reached his seventieth year. The 
work of criticism had, so far as he was concerned, 
reached its cuhninating point Further development of 
his ideas was reserved for other hands; and the old 
man, eager, as he said, sarcinas colligere, — to pack up 
for the long last journey, — ^retired in the summer of 
1795 from all his private lectures, and restricted him- 
self to the daily public hour on logic and metaphysica 
His leisure moments were henceforth occupied in pre- 
paring for the press his lectures on moral and political 
philosophy, as well as on anthropology, and to the elabo- 
ration of what was to be the grand consummation of his 
system — ^the application of his abstract principles to con- 
struct a philosophy of nature. All the while he continued 
to take the liveliest interest in politics, — particularly in 
the progress of the French Eevolution, — meditating on 
the rights of subjects and of sovereigns. His essay, * Zum 
Ewigen Frieden* (*To the Everlasting Peace'), pub- 
lished in 1795, was suggested by the transient appear- 
ance of consummation in the Revolutionary movement 
The essay, of which a second edition was called for next 

84 JCaiU. 

y^ar, was shortly afterwards ttatiBlated both into Frandl 
aail EnglLiih. In 1707 appeared his lectures on uunal 
and political philosophy, under the title of ' Metaphysiud 
Kodiments of Jurisprudeace,' and hja lectures on moid 
philosophy, under the title of ' ikf etaphyeicot Rudimeiitl 
of Ethic?,' In 1798 a collection of three es 
the common title of the ' Quarrel of the Faculties' 
("Streit der Faeultiiten '), gave expression to Kant^ 
liew that the so-called snperior faculties — theology, law, 
and medicine — had to acknowledge philosophy as 
queen. The lectures on Anthropology appeared in 1798 
The rest of Kant's loctimia were arranged and prepaiei 
for the preaa hy the care of his younger friends 
pupils. If wo add that Kant occasionally wrote ehf^a 
papers for the magazines, we can see that the four y^ 
between 1794 and 1798 were not an idle time for 
aeptuagenarian sage. With Michaelmas 1797 
altogether to lectnro, after forty-two years' service as tmi 

~[*orsity teacher. In the preceding June the studonl 
I celebrated the last public appearance of theii rei 
rofessor by n/^te and procession in his honour. 
The 'Quarrel of the Facidties' connects itself wilji 
'Religion within the boundnries of mere Eeaaon.' 
) death of Friediich-Wilhelui II. in 1797, and the 
consequent abrogation of the censorship of the press, 
permitted Kant once more to uttor tlie free word on 
the pretensions of dogma and convention, which he 
had, only in mow metaphj-aical phrase, been preaching 
nil bis life. Tho three great professional agencies — law, 
medicine, and theology, — Iho gn>ftt pillars of coneer- 

■Tatiam, are reminded that they am only servants 
ider authority. "Admitting," he remarks, "the 

TFasianski. 85 

claim of the theological faculty to call philosophy her 
maid, we still ask whether the maid carries the torch 
before her lady-mistress, or carries her train behind." 

The closing years of Kant's life have been described 
for us in a simple and touching memoir by WasianskL 
"Wasianski, who had attended his lectures in 1773, 
holding the poor student's post of amanuensis, entered 
the Church in 1780, and did not again meet Kant till 
the year 1790. In that year he saw his old master at 
a wedding, and thenceforth was a weekly guest at his 
small dinner-parties. To this circumstance we owe an 
introduction to the minor details of Kant's private 
economy, the growing weaknesses of his old age, and 
the immediate antecedents of his death. Sometimes 
we could Avish that the gossip had been less micro- 
scopic, — that the minutiae of domestic life had been 
more faintly touched, and the spectacle of a great mind 
losing itself in the imbecility of second childhood had 
been withdrawn from the vulgar gaze. Yet for those 
who remember amid the decline of the flesh the noble 
spirit which inhabited it, it is a sacred privilege to watch 
the failing life and visit the sick-chamber of Immanuel 

It was, as has been said, in the close of 1797 that 
Kant, feeling the heavy hand of age upon him, relin- 
quished active professorial service. His memory began 
to fail him, and he had to write on cards and scraps of 
old letter-paper notes to refer to in conversation. He 
still continued, as he did till much later, his habit of 
rising at five o'clock in the morning ; but he began to 
go earlier and earlier to bed. With the year 1799 a 
change for the worse came over his health. For some 

years previously, since 1796, he had complained ot a 
perpetual feeling of oppression in the heaiL Kant him- 
Be\t, always bant on tracing the dependence of a, variety 
of phenomena on a common cause, attributed this feeling 
to an excess of electricity in the air, and saw evidenes 
of the same influence in an alleged pestilence which 
Idlled tbo cats in some parts of Germany. No argu- 
ments could dispel this conviction, Kor was this the 
only fixed idea under which he laboured. He kept 
his bedroom darkened for fear of bugs ; because, as it 
happened, he found this visitant iuatnlled in his cham- 
ber on his return from his holidays, and learned that the 
ivindows of the room had been left open. 

But with 1799 he lapsed into greater feebleness of 
body. He told his friends one day, "Sirs, I am dii 
and weak ; you must treat me like a child. . , . 
not afraid of death. If I felt this night that I should 
die, I would lift up my hands, fall down and say, God 
be praised." Instead of his usual wali, he restricted 
himself to a short stroll in the Konigsgarten, in tbd 
immediate vicinity of his house. Once he slipped 
fell as he walked along the way thither. Two ladies 
who happened to see him hurried up aud set the fnul 
old man on his feet again, who, with his accustomed court- 
esy, presented to one of them the rose he held in Ha 
hand. At another time, foiling asleep in Ms chair, ha 
nearly set himself on fire. 

As he began to make mistakes in the payraent C^ 
money, Wasianski from this time undertook the man- 
agement of his aflairs — calling for some time every 
day, and making arrangements for his comfort, inti- 
mately, in the end of 1801, Wasianski bad to tafca 

Failing Health. 87 


possession of Kant's keys, and do almost everything 
for him. But he found it hard to get on with Kant's 
old servant Lampe, who was growing unfit to discharge 
his duties, and was occasionally aggravating and un- 
manag>.able. In consequence Lampe was dismissed in 
the he^ning of 1802 with a small pension, and his 
place tiken by a Johann Kaufmann. At first Kant 
was grie'^ously tried by the change; but he gradually 
accommodated himself to the new man, who seems to 
have ansvered pretty welL 

As spriig advanced, Kant was persuaded to go out 
into the ojen air — a thing which, to the detriment of 
his health, he had not done for more than two years. 
When talcn to his own garden, he declared he felt 
himself as aonplussed as if he were on a desert island ; 
but he soca came to Hke the garden, where he would 
now and tbn drink a cup of cofiee — a beverage to which 
he had latterly become addicted. But after all, the weari- 
ness of old ige increased. He could not bear to wait an 
instant for anything ; and if the cup of cofi'ee did not 
punctually irrive, would say half peevishly, half humor- 
ously — " I may die in the meantime, and in the other 
world I wil drink no coffee." He took no interest in 
the approach of spring ; the old, old story of returning 
sunshine aid flowers affected him not — " Das ist ja alle 
Jahre so, md gerade eben so ! " Yet he could still look 
longingly firward to the coming of a grasshopper which 
used to sinj in front of his window. 

Late in ihe summer, one warm day, they drove out 
towards the country, and Kant had a pleasant excursion, 
listening to:he notes of the birds, and smoking half a pipe. 
As winter jame on, however, his old complaints began 


to T«c liim ftgftin — the Btahung nnf A 
(flatulence on the etomach), ns he termed it. He suffena 
from bad dreams — would often rifle at niglit, and injured 
himself by his falls, so that it was found necessary to 
make the servant sleep in the same room tviLh liio, and 
to introduce a night-light. Still he would amuta hiin- 
self hy plaiming excursions abroad for the next lununei 
— excursions never destined to be carried out. 

On the 22d April 1803 bis birthday was cdebrated, 
hut he had no enjoyment of the festivd. Andtwo daya 
afterwards he wrote down these words : " Acording to 
the Bible our life lasts seventy years, and at the most 
eighty ; and when it is at the best, it has b«n labon;. 
and sorrow." StiU about midsummer he 'ma able to 
go with Wasianski a short drive to a cottge on th9 
H.W. of Konigsberg, situated on a rising gromd amidst 
tall alders ; but the short drive seemed to Kant too 
long. And with autumn it became imposible with 
safety to leave him by himselt Aeeocdingljtia young- 
est sister — an aged widow, only six years juuor to her 
brother, but stiU halo and active — was intrduced into 
the household from the ajmahousc where she had spent 
BO many years. The brother and sister gt on very 
well together. About the same time, howeve; he began 
to lose the eight of his right eye (the loft hai. for about 
twenty years been useless) ; and as he coud scarcely 
walk, and forgot the names of familiar thiipi, he was 
unwilling to receive the visits of strangers, b see what 
he himself described as a "worn-out, decnjed, feeble 
old man," | 

A bad attack on the 8th October 1803 wa| a prelads 
D the end. He would now often retire to rek inunedi- 

Mental Decay. 89 

ately after the mid-day meal; but his sleep was dis- 
turbed. On common topics conversation was no longer 
possible with him ; and yet if the current of talk turned 
to philosophic and scientific subjects, he still showed 
occasional flashes of the old vigour of mind. Every- 
thing had to be written down for him in httle note- 
books, some of which are still preserved. The dishes 
to be served at table, his barber's name, the little jokes 
or conundrums for after-dinner use, points under dis- 
cussion in science or politics, are noted on these papers. 
Yet even during these years of slow decay and pro- 
longed dissolution, Kant "was the point to which many 
inquirers looked for Hght and comfort He held strong 
views on Jenner's great discovery : he termed vaccina- 
tion an "inoculation of bestiality." Twice in the year 
1800 — once by a Professor Juncker of Halle, and once 
by a Graf Dohna (whose bride desired to be vaccinated) 
— ^he was asked whether he considered this prophylactic 
against small-pox a morally justifiable one. The pub- 
Ucation of his works on Ethics had procured for him 
a sort of moral directorship: cases of conscience were 
laid before him for his decision. The number of let- 
ters (not always prepaid) which reached him in these 
later years came to be one of his grievances. Popularity, 
he found, brought penalties from which he would gladly 
have been exempt He had always been lax in answer- 
ing his letters ; but now, \mless by the medium of some 
of his younger friends, they were not answered at alL 
Yet he would work at his proposed metaphysics of nature 
after his intellect refused. But it was a treadmill task : 
he went round and round, and never advanced. His 
manuscript, examined by Dr Eeicke, shows a hundred 

90 Kant. 

attempts to find a, definitioa of transcendental phi 
Bophy, Yet lie still took au interest in I 
Villera to bring tho Critical Philosophy to the know 
ledge of the French; and no doubt stiU received I 
iretter's friendly letters from Berlin, along with ) 
hamper of Teltow turnips {TeUower Ruben), which w 
despatched by carrier every November. His official 
life had wellnigh ceased. A final spark was struck ii 
the protest ho raised in 1798, when a proposal wa 
made that Ins place and that of another superannuated 
professor in the Senatiia should be filled by two adjunct 
members appointed for the purpose^ Kant's protest — 
" I refuse my consent to this new proposed plan, as the 
old arrangement is at once wise and the most hin 
— was backed by the authority of the East Prussian r 
Government, and the veteran retained his honorary p 
with unabated dignity. 

At length the end come. The beams of the ^ad blue 
eye were q^uenched ; the cheeks which even in agf 
been fresh and raddy became pallid; the keen e 
grew dull ; the bodily frame, whicli assiduous can 
maintained as a worthy organ for his mind, i 
into weakness. Up to the laat, however, Ma thougU] 
were kindly and noble. "There must be 
or miserliness anywhere," he told hia companions. 
January 1804 he grew more and more restless, — 
necktie had to he tied and untied many times ii 
minute. He ceased to recognisB his friends. On 
3d Fehntary the springs of life seemed wholly dried u 
and he ate nothing more. On the 12th February, i 
eleven o'clock in the forenoon, he passed away, 
tliat was left was a poor skeleton, — a worn-out frame 

Death 91 

which age and infirmity had gradually exhausted. His 
last words on the night before he died, said in declining 
the offer of a refreshing draught, when he seemed to 
suffer from thirst, were ^^ Es ist gut" 

The news of his death soon spread from mouth to 
mouth through Konigsberg. "The day," says Reusch, 
"was clear and cloudless, — a day such as Konigsberg 
seldom sees in the year, and a small bright cloudlet 
floated in the zenith in the azure-blue sky. A soldier, 
said the story, had called the attention of the by- 
standers on the Smith Bridge to the circumstance by the 
words : * See, that is the soul of Kant flying heaven- 
wards I ' " During the sixteen days, whilst he lay 
stretched on a bier in his dining-room, crowds flocked 
to see the remains of one who had been so famous. 
Kant had frequently expressed a wish that he should be 
buried quietly in the early morning. For some reason 
this request was disregarded. His funeral on the 28th 
of February was attended by a procession of the stu- 
dents, by his intimate companions and table-guests, and 
by a large concourse from the town and neighbourhood. 
He was buried in the so-called Professors' Vault, on the 
north side of the choir of the Dom (the University 
Church). In this place five years later some changes 
were made under Scheffher's direction. The floor of the 
cloister was paved with tiles, as a covered walk for the 
professors residing in the rooms opposite. A railing 
divided the eastern part — in which the coffin containing 
Kant's bones was deposited — from the rest of the cloister. 
The whole arcade received the name of Stoa Kantiana ; 
and in 1810 a bust of the philosopher, executed by 
Schadow in white marble, was placed above the stone 


92 Kant 

which Schcifiier had set to mark the place of interment. 
But the Stoa, Kantiana soon fell into a condition of 
filthy decay, and the bust was removed to the Xei 
Yersity, wliere it atill remains. For many years tliis 
diecceditahle Btate of alFairs continued, till ahout ten 
years ago a committee was formed to make the placo 
worthy of its illustrious dead. In 1880 the eastern end 
of this arcade was tranafiirmed into a simple Gotliic 
chapel; and in June 1861 a bust of Kant i 
placed in. the Stoa, and the well-known words of "Der 
beatimte Himmel liber mir und das moraliache Geeetz 
in mir " inscribed on the wall. In the previous year a; 
excavation had been made under the inspection o 
several Kiinigsbeigera interested in Kant, to deter- 
mine exactly, if possible, the place where his bones 
were laid. 

More than a month after the funeral a solemn c 
vocation of the university assembled on the 23d April 
(the 22d, Kant's birthday, happening to fall on t 
day), to hear a memorial address on the deceased froia 
Dr "Wald, the professor of eloquence. Shortly afte> 
■wards it occurred to "William Motherby — one of the 
guests who sat so often at Kant's table — that it would 
be well to perpetuate tJie memory of the old fellowship 
by an anniversary festival Every year, from 1805 o 
wards, the Kant Club which was thus called into exist- 
ence met on the 32d April, under ite Boli^nmikiinig o 
Captain of the feast, to celebrate the memory of thi 
Master. The first meeting of these disciples, number- 
ing between twenty and thirty from all ranks of society, 
took place in Kant's hotiaa That house unfortunately 
is now the depot of ready-made garments and other 

Bequests, 93 

drapery, and unless the piety of modem disciples pre- 
vent, will inevitably be pulled down and replaced by a 
large modem shop. 

The rigid economy of his mode of life, and judicious 
investments on the advice of his friend Green, the mer- 
chant, enabled Kant to leave behind him what was for 
his circumstances the considerable sum of 21,539 thalers. 
Yet Kant had been liberal during his lifetime. Ho 
indeed gave nothing to the casual beggar who impor- 
tuned him on the street ; yet every year for some time 
before his death he paid out about 200 thalers, partly to 
support his poor relatives, partly in general charity, not to 
mention smaller donations. Since 1800, when his 
brother died in Courland, he paid a yearly pension of 
200 thalers to the widow and children. In his will he 
first of all distributed several legacies, — about 3000 
thalers to his faithful administrator and executor Wasi- 
anski, his library (which consisted of 500 volumes) and 
500 thalers to Professor Gensichen, 666 thalers 29 sil- 
bergroschen to his old cook, a smaller sum to his ser- 
vant Johann, and something to Lampe over 40 thalers 
yearly. His childless sister who had nursed him re- 
ceived a life -pension of 100 thalers. The remaining 
12,000 thalers of his property were to be divided equally 
— one moiety to the children of his deceased brother, 
and another moiety to the surviving children of his 

There are several likenesses of Kant in existence. 
One of the best known was done in 1791 by a Berlin 
painter named Dobler, after which an engraving by 
Karl Earth was made for Schubert's biography in the 
collected edition of Kant's works by Eosenkranz and 

94 Kant. 

Schubert. The original picture may be seen at Konigs- 
berg in the Freemasons' Lodge Zum Todtenkopf und 
Phoenix. A medallion likeness in clay by a friend of 
Kant's, named Paul Heinrich Collin (1748-89), the 
director of a porcelain-work established in Konigsberg, 
after the model of Wedgwood, was considered successful 
at the time. It is the basis of a well-known print by 
Bause, after Schnorr, published at Leipsic in 1791. A 
Berlin painter named Yemet also painted Kant about 
the same time as Dobler. This portrait, which is not 
thought good, was photographed some years ago. A 
portrait of Kant in his 44th year was painted for the 
publisher Kanter, in 1768, by an artist named Becken 
A good photographic copy of this last was issued in 
1881 by Grafe und TJnzer, the present representatives 
of the Kanter firm. Another portrait by Becker exists 
in the possession of a German in London, and is probably 
of the same date. In 1864 a statue (a copy of that in 
the Friedrich monument in Berlin, by Ranch), represent- 
ing Kant out walking, and stopping to speak (to Les- 
sing), was erected on the slope between Kant's house 
and the castle. 




Even before Kant had passed away, the currents of 
thought which he had tried to turn into the fields of 
experience were sweeping past him into new and dan- 
gerous latitudes. In 1802 Schelling and Hegel estab- 
Hshed a Critical Journal of Philosophy ; and in the third 
number of their magazine they had the opportunity, in 
reviewing Villers, of stating the estimate the new school 
had formed of the philosophy of Kant In their opinion 
the first question for one who aims at presenting Kant- 
ism to a cosmopohtan public, is to ask whether the 
system is really adapted for universality, and not merely 
aimed at a local and temporary frame of mind. And 
they have no doubts that the latter alternative is the 
true one. 

" It is evident," says Schelling, " that in this case the lan- 
guage is inseparable from the thing ; that if we are to phil- 
osophise on Kant's lines, we must use his language ; and that 
any attempt to abandon the letter at once carries us across 
the narrow line that bounds what may be called his philos- 
ophy. Kant, as every one knows, referred all his followers 
to the clear letter of his writings; and Kantians of the 
strictest sect have always been on their guard against depart- 


ing from die master even in the words nnfl oiitwaul font 
... It can be proved by history that Kant hail nei'i 
Htudied philosophy in its grand and comprehensive type,- 
that Pluto, Spinoza, Leibnitz even, wure know-n to him only 
throngh the medium of a metaphyaical. doctrine, wMehabant 
fifty years ago was dominant in the German universitie*— « 
Hcholaatic metaphysiu ivhith, through several intervening 
stageH, derived ils origin from Wolf. . . , And thus 
although, within the circle in which his mode of approach- 
ing philosophy baa placed him, the persistent tendency of 
his mind to reach totality in ita science may influence 
opinion of his personality, and of the high respect he de- 
serves, it cannot alt«r our estimate of bis philosophy. That 
remains what it was — a secondary derivative, not a native 
and original growth. His philosophy is a building which tt 
the best rests upon the empirical earth, but in. part also on 

1^ the rubbish-lieapB of forgotten systems — no universal system, 

^^^^wlf-originated and self-subsisting."" 


■ There is truth ij 

these remarks by the young lions of 
o student of the history of plulos- 
ly, except where lie found in other thintera ideu 
problems congenial to those which exercised hima^ 
reaxiing, generally scrappy, was eBpecially weak in 
Hie old metaphysicians. Yet one may doubt whether 
the faults which they find in Kant may not claim a 
times to rank among his merits. There is a good deal 
to be said for a system which "rests on the empincd 
earth," or the facta of real experience. 

An ancient philosopher laying down a course of odn- 
cation for the would-be metaphysician has insisted upon 
the advantages for this end ijossessed by mathematics,' 
pure and appUed. In geometry, in theoretical astronomy, 
tile application of mechanics to the several branches 
physical science, he foimd the st«pping-stones hy 

^^^^^K physical 

From Physics to Metaphysics. 97 

which the mind could most easily rise to discern that 
all existence was in unity, bound together by permanent 
relationships or laws. It was according to this plan 
that Kant became a philosopher and a metaphysician. 
No doubt, like other students, he was fed on the husks 
of logic, and gained such furtherance from a formal 
training in the habit of distinguishing and defining, of 
proving and disproving, as it is able to giva Like them, 
too, he listened to the arguments of natural theology, to 
the discussions of free-will and immortality, which formed 
the culminating efforts of reasoning to reach ultimate 
and fundamental truth. But he found no satisfaction 
in the technicalities of the one, or the show of de- 
monstration in the other. It was in mathematical and 
physical science that he felt himself on real and secure 
ground. But on that ground again his interest con- 
verged even from the first on a special question, — the ^ 
question of method and evidenca Naturally, therefore, ^ 
his first approaches towards the field of strict philosophy 
are hesitating, and proceed from different, and almost 
casual, points. There is no preconceived goal towards 
which he is hurrying. We may almost say, he is a 
metaphysician in spite of himself. He has no definite 
system ready in his head, and is in no haste to concoct one. 
Certain leading ideas soon begin to command the tenor 
of his thought. And after about twenty years these out- 
lines begin to group themselves together in a theory, 
which on the one hand attempts to show the nature and 
constitution of human knowledge, and on the other, 
to exhibit the reality of a region from which science 
is inevitably barred. 

In his earliest work, the * Estimate of Living Forces,' 
P. — V. ^ 

mostly written when he was twenty-two, we see indie* 

tions of the coming man. The doctrinal results eetab- 

iiahed in the eesay are of little direct value at the present 

k^y. It deals with oue of those questions which may oRat 

Bw set aside aa a mere war of words, because they k 

B^putes over an imperfect and ill-defined term, and fail 

to set clearly forth the real difficulty concealed undflr tha 

verhal puiszle. The quarrel lay between Deseartea wi 

hia followers on one hand, and Leibnitz with hia on ti 

other. Tlie Cartesian theory had asserted that the sn 

of movements in the world was always constant. Witfe 

this thesis, Descartes had combined the formula thab 

Lihe force is proportional to the velocity. Leibnitz hoj 

■nointed out that the two positions were somewhat incoD 

fsiatent, and had introduced the new formula by whicb 

a force was declared to be in proportion to the square ol 

the velocity. The battle was waged by numerous coi 

batanta, many of whom, including the learned Marqiii 

B de ChAtelet, Kant mentions and criticises. But 1 

Beems unaware that in 1741, the friend of the Marqniat^ 

■the great Voltaire himself, had presented to the Fiendl 

H^cademy " Doutes sur la mesure des forces motriaes e 

Bgur leur nature," and that in 1743 {i.e., three years befon 

fKant wrote) D'AIembert had set the question aside aai 

theoretical quibble, to which mechanics was indiSeresI 

So remote was Konigsberg hom the main stream < 

European letters ! 

In his examination of the question, Kant is onl] 
moderately succeasfuL He admits that the Cartesiai 
formula is, for tlie purposes of mathematics, correct a 
satisfactory. Mathematics, as he remarks, assumes tbt 
the bodies of which it treats are always set in motitm ta 

His First Book. 99 

an external cause, and that the force they may exercise is 
always due to external impulse. But in the real bodies 
of nature there is more than this mere communication of 
motion. There is in physical bodies an original " inten- 
sion," a germ of mov^lnent which only needs to be 
excited in order to gather vigour, and in free or un- 
impeded movement develop increasing energy. It is to 
the real bodies of concrete nature — i.e., to those move- 
ments which, he says, have the property of maintaining 
themselves in the body to which they have been com- 
municated, and of continuing for ever if unchecked — that 
the Leibnitian . formula applies. Descartes, he holds, 
states the truth for the abstract mathematical theory ; 
Leibnitz for the concrete facts of experience. The an- 
tithesis thus suggested is no doubt an important point ; 
but Kant fails to prosecute it far enough, and to give a 
satisfactory definition of vis viva, or living force itself. 
Indeed, apart from the modem discoveries of the trans- 
formation of energy, and its conservation in its various 
modes, the question was doubly difficult 

Perhaps the most noteworthy feature in the doctrine 
of the book is the acceptance given to the Leibnitian 
dictum. Est aliquid prceter extensionem, imo extensione 
prius: there is something more than extension, ay, 
something prior to extension, in what we call a body. 
Kant begins by adopting the dynamical theory of 
matter, which he afterwards expounded in detail in the 
Metaphysical Elements of Physics. The primary ele- 
ments out of which matter is constructed are points of 
force, and the space which they occupy is a result of the 
antagonism between their forces. In short, the world 
is not a mere dead mass, of which the movements are 


maintained ly any estra-mimdane God. In all iU 
parts it is instinct with an active force, of which move- 

B manifestation. 

1 But even more notice is deserved by tlie general 

jit and tone of the writer. It is marked throu^oat 

erous confidence in honest thought, and somo- 

fliing of the feeling ia ever breaking through, which 

I io eono penmtore. Even the motto quoted 

Fom Seneca is significant, being much to this eSect — 

incHned to believe," says the author ol' 
twenty-two, as he enters upon a field strewn witk 
the bones of controversy, "that it is sometiinea i 
without its usea for a man to piaee a certain nobls^ 
reliance on his own powers. Such a confidence giVQB 
new life to all his efforts, and instOs into them a » 
I stimulus which much conduces to the discovery of trnlhi 
n a man is in the way of believing that some d 
oendence may be put on his studios, and that it ia p( 
H^le to catch even a Leibnitz in mistake, he will leaTj 
BO stone unturned in order to corroborate his conjecture. 
Lgain and again he may go astray in his undertakir^ ; 
fret, after aU, the profit which thus accrues to the b 

e of truth is much more conaidemble tluin if he had 
ilways kept to the main road. It is on this consideio 
"Hon that I take my stand. I have already fixed upt 
the line which I am resolved to keep, I will enter on n 
course, and nothing shall prevent me from purauing it" 
Here is how this courageous, and withal sententious 
tenth speaks, from his speculative look-uut, of the attl 

Contrcyoersy of the Vis Viva. 101 

tude of the combatants. " Both the partisans of Des- 
cartes and those of Leibnitz have felt for their opinion 
all the conviction which in human knowledge it is for 
the most part possible to feeL On both sides sighs 
have been drawn for the sheer prejudices of opponents ; 
and either party has believed that its own opinion could 
not possibly admit of doubt, if the other side would but 
take the trouble to look at it in the proper equilibrium 
of mind and temper. A certain notable difference, 
however, may be detected between the way in which 
the party of living forces [mrea vivce) tries to keep its 
ground, and that in which the evaluation of Descartes 
is defended. The latter appeals to simple cases only, 
in which the decision between truth and error is easy 
and certain : the former, on the contrary, makes its 
proofs as dark and intricate as possible, and saves itself, 
so to speak, under cover of night from a contest, in 
which, with a proper distinctness of light, it would 
always losa Still the Leibnitians have ahnost all the 
experiences on their side : this is perhaps the sole point 
in which they have the advantage of the Cartesians." 

This judicial attitude, not without a secret predilec- 
tion for the Leibnitian doctrine (which, as we have seen, 
he supports with qualifications), appears in a severer form 
in his estimate of metaphysical knowledge " It is ap- 
parent," he admits in one place, "that the first and 
primary sources of the operations of nature must un- 
doubtedly fall under the scope of metaphysics." But 
alas for its performances 1 

" Our metaphysics is really like many other sciences— only 
on the threshold of genuine knowledge : God knows if it 
will ever get farther. It is not hard to see its weekcLftSft vcl 

102 Kaid. 

much that it undertakes. Prejudice is often found 
the mainstay of ita pToofs, For this nothing is to blame bul 
the ruling passion of thoae who woidd fain extend fauman 
knowledge. They are anxious to have a grand phUosophy j 
but the desiiable thing ib, that it should also be a sound 

We need Dot devote more than a brief notice to tiro 
tracts on physical geography published in 1754. In the 
firat, Kant engages to demonstrate that there is a real 
external causa modifying the rotation of the earth on' 
ita uxia, and that this cause, which gradually dimini^eft 
that rotation, tends in an immeasuiahly long period ta' 
destroy it altogether. The cause auggested is the eon' 
tinual friction of the ocean against its solid bottom, due 
to the attraction of the moon. 

The other paper dealt with the physical grounds for 
holding that the earth was growing old. "It ia one of 
man's greatest mistakes," saya Kant, "when he applies' 
as a standard on the grand scale of the Divine works 
the lapse of human generations. . . . When we QOOHdef 
the durability shown by cosmic ammgcmenta in th» 
grander members of the system, — a durability little' 
short of infinity, — we are inclined to believe that in 
respect of the duration destined for the earth, a lapse dt- 
five thousand or six thousand years ia probably lese than' 
one year in the life of a human being." Kant contents' 
himself with showing that physics does not give sufB-* 
cient data to answer the question, especially if the sort 
of changes supposed to indicate age in the earth is not 
clearly specified. 

The ill-fated essay (p. 22), which came out in 175S 
as a 'General Physiogony and Theory of the Heavens,' 
consists of three parts, with prologue and final doxology. 

Cosmical Speculations. 103 

The first part, heralded by a summary of the Newtonian 
theory of the planetary system, propounds the hypo- 
thesis that there is also a system of the stars. Here 
Kant owns his debt to a self-taught English astronomer, 
— ^Thomas Wright of Durham, — with whose * New Hypo- 
thesis of the Universe * he was indirectly acquainted by 
means of an abstract from it in the Hamburg 'Freie 
Urtheile' of 1751. Both speculators agree in thinking 
that the fixed stars may be treated as suns, and held 
subject to the same general conditions as prevail in our 
system ; that these stars (our sun included) form some 
sort of system, which is aggregated in the line of the 
milky-way. The milky-way, in the vicinity of which 
the vast majority of the stars is found, holds in the 
stellsur system the same place as the prolongation of the 
solar equator holds amongst the planets. Kant, how- 
ever, goes beyond Wright in insisting upon the infinitude 
of the systems of stars ; treats the nebulae as indications 
of other stellar systems lying on a difierent plane from 
that of the milky-way ; and uses Bradley's observations 
on the proper movements of the stars to corroborate his 
suggestions. In the seventh chapter of the second part, 
not content with a central star (perhaps Sirius) for our 
system of the milky-way, he suggests the probability 
of a central body regulating the revolutions of all the 
star-groups (nebula and milky-way) which exist amid 
immeasurable spaca It is needless to add that obser- 
vation confirms neither the hypothesis of the lesser nor 
of the greater central sun, and that modem theory does 
not regard a central body even as indispensable for the 
existence of a systematic interdependence of all the 
astral movements. 

104 Kmit. 

The aeoond part, or Cosmogony proper, treate "of thS 
first state oi nature, the formation of the celestial bodies 
the causes of their movement and systematic connection, 
not merely in the planetary sphere, but in the creation 
as a whole." Here Kant rivals Epicurus, and in 
ways anticipates Laplace. Taking one instance t 
omplify a process continually repeating itself ii 
extended spaces of the Cosmos, he a^umea as provi* 
sional starting-point a time when all the matter, nc 
condensed in sun, planets, and comets, was with i 
its generic differences dissipated in a gaseoos . 
over the whole space in which these bodies now levolroj 
Even then " the eternal idea of the Divine mind" v 
the fundamental cause of certain active forces is thea 
molecules, by which they are a source of life to theffi< 
salves, and which keep them ever tending to enter inf 
new orders and create complex unitie& Especlallj two 
f>>n:es have to be attributed to the elementary coipBSclefl 
— attraction and repulsion. Somewhere or other tfaa 
will be a preponderance of particles, of a denser k. 
than elsewhere ; and (hither, in conset^ueDce of I 
properties of matter, there will be a tendency in I 
other particles to fall A central body tbas anses ta 
the agglomeration in this point of the vaiioiu t 
particles, especially the densec As we recede fi 
body, wo come to a Tegi<Mt where the repnlaioii 
the pAtticlea is free to ordinate lateral mon 
Theee^ by cotnpoeition with the centnd i 
in a ma^ dance of mokcole^ hither and t 
all in a general way in circles round the e 
liimdtuilj these bands of cirding molecnlcs, wift b 
sectiag ctiuts, settle inbi the (o^&an -iiNa£kk x 

Solar Theory. 105 

least mutual interference, and form extended ranges or 
strata of revolving matter, decreasing in density as the 
distance from the centre increases. In each such stra- 
tum a local nucleus may be formed, and repeat on a 
small scale for that range what happened with the 
whole mass. The central nucleus became the sun, 
the other local nuclei became the planets, some of which 
again have satellites, the product of other separate re- 
volving masses, partially dependent upon the subordi- 
nate local centre. 

Such an origin has several consequences. Being 
originally parts of a common mass of revolution, the 
planets should aU lie nearly in the plane of the sun's 
equator : their density, seeing that the heavier particles 
are most attracted sunwards, ought to diminish in pro- 
portion to their distance from the sun ; those furthest 
from the sim, having the largest circles and being freest 
from solar interference, ought to be generally of great- 
est bulk; and their excentricity should on the whole 
increase with the distance. Unfortunately there is in 
this too great demand for symmetry. To take the last 
consequence^-excentricity. There is no such regular- 
ity as Kant expects ; and when he goes a step further, 
and seeks to apply his law to the comets, — when he says 
that the last of the planets is also the first of the comets, 
he abolishes a difference which modem astronomy still 
retains. There is an approximation to the truth in his 
inferences ; and perhaps that is all we have a right to 
ask. And while in one point, by declaring the great 
probability of planets beyond the orbit of Saturn, he 
seems to anticipate the discovery of Uranus and Nep- 
tune, in another pointy from hia opmion V?c\a.\» ^^\%x^ 

lOS Kant. 

gap hetween Mars and Jupiter might fairly be attributed 
to the mass of the latter, be entertained no suspicion 
of the osiatenco of the asteroids. After all, prophetic 
power ia but a vulgar recommendation of science ; and 
defects in the available data should be remembered, 
when we lay blame on the imperfect correspondence in 
detail hetween his hypothetical consequences and the 
subsequently observed faiits. 

In the close of his ' Exposition du systWe dn moniie,' 
Laplace, unacquainted ivith Kant'a efforts (which indeed 
could only be known to a select few), gave a physical 
explanation of the origin of our solar system which has 
sometimes been paralleled with that of Kant But the 
differences are considerabla Kant had made the ring 
of Saturn a special case, and explained it with much 
ingenuity SJid detail It is this special case which is 
the type and foundation of Laplace's theory. Laplace, 
too, puts the comets in a class of their own. Beginning 
with the sun, he supposes it Gun?ounded (like Saturn 
Kant's theory) with a gaseous atmospliere, which 
far beyond the present limits occupied by the solar s; 
tem. From this atmospliere, endowed with a primal 
rotation of enormous rapidity, first one ring of vapon 
and then another broke loose. In course of time 
vapour- rings parted into fragments tending toward 
globular form : these in most cases were annexed by 
largest of their number, hut sometimes (and this wonl 
be the case of the planetoids) the several globes retain! 
a separate oxistenca Clearly this is a narrower hyp( 
thesis than that of Kant: it is also worked out wit 
greater precision. 

There are fhronghout the essay glimpses of an imi 

Other Worlds, 107 

nation which is checked in the birth by sarie reasoning, 
and of a keen perception of the frailties in pseudo- 
science. Thus, speaking of the time when the earth 
may, like Saturn, have rejoiced in a ring, and showing 
how it may be employed to explain the " waters of the 
firmament " and Noah's rainbow, by those " who believe 
that, instead of desecrating, they rather heighten the 
honour of revelation, by making it confer respectability 
on the extravagances of their fancy," he adds, — " Yet I 
hold it wise to sacrifice the passing applause excited by 
such correspondences [between miraculous events and 
the results of natural law] to the true pleasure derived 
from observing the regular consilience by which physical 
analogies combine to indicate physical truths." Or 
again, when he remarks how the perfection of reasoning 
beings is bound up with the superior flexibility of their 
organism, and recalls the gradually more refined matter 
of which the planets consist as they lie farther from the 
sun, he lets his imagination " place the lowest species, 
the very beginning of spirit -kind, on what may be 
called the earliest and rudest spot of the whole universe, 
so that by regular progression therefrom it may extend to 
fill the whole infinitude of time and space with infinitely 
increasing grades of perfection of intellectual faculty, 
and so step by step approach, without ever actually 
reaching, Deity, the goal of supreme excellence." "May 
it not be written," he asks, "that the immortal soul 
shall one day become closer acquainted with those dis- 
tant orbs of the universe, and behold the excellence of 
that plan which so arouses curiosity even here 1 May 
there not be globes in the planetary region even now 
forming, destined, after the time appointed for our sojourn 


here has ended, to prepare for Tia new mansions in oG 
skies 1 Who knows whether the moons of Jupiter 
not one day meant to yield light for us % It is harmU 
and fitting " {he replies to these questions of selfish « 
osity) "to please oureclvea with such ideas ; but no 
will reet his hopes of the future on these unstable ^ 
turoa of fancy. After mortality has claimed her d< 
the inunortaJ spirit will soar away in swift career c 
everything finite, and continue its existence in a i 
connection with the whole nature which arises fronC 
more intimate imion with the Supreme IJeing. 
When the heart is filled by thoughts lite these, fffl 
sight of the starry sky in a clear night gives a pleasure 
only felt by noble eouk. Amid the universal silence oi 
nature, and the repose of the senses, the hidden facul^ 
of the immortal spirit Bpeaka a language which has ( 
name, and throws out vague ideas which may ha n 
rather than described." 

In contrast to the almost mystical tone of these refl 
tions, there stands out equally prominent the view tl 
a mechanical theory of the origin of the world is 
once scientifically correct and in harmony with religi< 
" How la it possible to make a mechanical theory b 
monisB with the theory of design, if the plans of suprai 
wisdom are intrusted to raw matter, and the rule of p( 
videnee put in the hands of unassisted nature 1 la 
the allusion to design an admission that the order of ti 
imiverse has not been produced by the general lawB 
matter^ To dissipate these scruples, let ns reour 1 
what has been already adduced Must not the 
cbinery of every natural movement hav 
I tendency towards only thosB lesiAta -w\Q.'i\^ ft 

Natural Law and Design. 109 

accord with the plan of divine wisdom in all its ramifi- 
cations 1 How can this machinerj/'have in its first stage 
chaotic tendencies to dissipation, when all the properties 
of matter from which these results proceed received their 
vocation from the eternal idea of the divine mind, in 
which everything must be in reciprocal interdependence 
and adaptation 1 . . . The more we learn of nature, 
the better shall we perceive that the general constitutions 
of things are not separate or alien one from another. 
We shall be fully persuaded that they have intrinsic 
afl&nities, by which they are inherently fitted to combine 
in the construction of a perfect organisation; that the 
action and reaction of the elements tend to produce the 
beauty of the material and the advantage of the spiritual 
world ; and that in general the several natures constitute, 
in the realm of eternal truths, so to speak, a harmonious 
system, in which each is connected with the other. Wo 
shall learn also that they derive this affinity from the 
common origin, whence spring the whole of their essen- 
tial characteristics." 

These considerations touch upon a feature of the essay 
afterwards developed with greater detail " There is a 
God," says Kant, " because nature, even in chaos, could 
not proceed otherwise than with regularity and order." 
Nature and its laws are no distinct and independent 
principles apart from God. It is only an " idle philos- 
ophy seeking to hide sluggardly ignorance under a mien 
of devoutness " that needs to call in the interference of 
an extra-mundane God. "On the contrary, it is more 
becoming and correct to argue thus : Nature, left to its 
own general qualities, is rich in fruits which are always 
fair and perfect. Not merely aie tti^^ \iarccL<OT!Cva^ «sA 



excellent themselves, but they are adapted to f 
order of being, to the uae of man, and to the glory J 
God, It is thua evident that the esaential proporties 
matter must spring from one mind, the sonrce and groraril J 
of all beings : a mind, in which they belong to a 8 
rtarity of plan. All that is in reciprocal relations Q 
harmony must bo brought into unity in a single Beiq 
from which it all depends. There is therefore a 
all beings, an infinite mind and self-subsisting wisdom, fr 
which nature in tho full range of all its forma andfeatortsa 
derives its origin, even as regards ita very possibility." 

It remains to be added that Kant, in assigning to tlw 
mechanical laws of nature the production of the existJuJ 
order of things, stops short at the enigma presented S 
the beginnings of Hie and organisation. " I think," ll 
says, " we may in a sense say without temerity ; Give I 
rae matter, and I will huild a world out of it ; I will j 
show how a world comes to be evolved, , , . But c 
we truly claim such a vantage-ground in speaking of C 
least plant or insect? Are wo in a position to sajfl 
Give me matter, and I will show you how a caterp 
can be generated 1 Must we not here stop at the first I 
step, from our ignorance of the real inner constitution 
of the object, and the intricate complexity which it 
includes)" JTor is this an isolated statement "The 
structure of plants and aiumala exhibits an adaptation, 
for which the universal and necessary laws of nature are ' 
insufficient." And the origin of animals and [ 
classed with the secrets of Providence, and the numbe 
666, as one of the topics on which ingenuity and thoagi 
are occasionally wasted. 


8 papers 

1 1756 on tl\G c 

Ii(m8seau. Ill 

and especially on the phenomena of the Lisbon earth- 
quake, contain little of importance. An earthquake 
Kant regards as the effect of fire in the subterraneous 
caverns, where there are stores of explosive materials 
ready to burst and shake the solid arches above. We 
probably know little more about these processes than 
Kant — who, at any rate, has given a careful and ap- 
parently a faithful remmS of the antecedents, accom- 
paniments, effects, &C., of the disastrous event 

Two Latin essays (* De igne ' and * Monadologia Phy- 
sica '), written in the years 1755-56, can only be named. 

After tins time, Kant became more and more drawn 
into the vortex of metaphysics. But it may be con- 
venient to add a short notice of his chief remaining 
contributions to physical inquiry. In 1764 there visited 
Konigsberg a wild man of the woods, who, dressed in 
nomadic costume, and accompanied by a lad of eight 
years old, as also by a herd of cows, sheep, and goats, 
drew the notice of the philosophers no less than the 
unlearned. Eeading the decrees of Providence from his 
open Bible, he gained from the people the name of the 
goat-prophet Kant (who, like Hamann, was interested 
in the phenomenon) wrote a short paper for Kanter's 
journal He is most attracted by " the little savage, 
who, reared in the woods, has learned to brave cheerfully 
all the hardships of the weather, shows no common 
frankness in his face, and has none of the bashful awk- 
wardness caused by bondage or compulsory lessons of 
attention, — ^who, in short, seems to be a normal child 
after the heart of an experimental moralist who might 
refuse from equity to treat the views of Eousseau as 
chimeras until he had actually tested them." "Ei-^^^e^V^ 

112 JCanL 

the echoes of the 'Emile' (published two years before) 
still rung in Kant's head ; and they had not qnite died 
away in 1771, as is sho^vn by a still more ciirioua paper 
in the some joumaL From this, a short Dotice of a 
lecture by MoBcati, an Italian professor, we quote the 
beginning and end : — 

"Once more we have the natural man, and on all-foiiiB, 
. . . Dr Moacati proves that the upright wait of nian is 
forced and unnatural : that, although he is so eonBtmcted as 
to be able to support and move himself in that posture ; yet 
if he makes it a necessity and constant habit, he mnetlook for- 
ward to discomforts and diseases, which show beyond dispate 
that he has been misled by reason and imitation to divei^ 
from the original animal arrangement. . . . However para- 
doxical this proposition of the Italian doctor may seem, still, 
in the hands of an anatomist so acute and philosophical, il 
gains almost complete certainty. We thus see that natui 
first care was to preserve man as an animal for himself 
his species, and to that end the posture most agreeable to 
internal structure, to the situation of the embryo, and 
preservation in danger, was the four-footed. We see 
that a germ of reason was implanted in Jiim, by devel 
which he adapts himself for society : and by mea 
he assumes for his constant attiti;de the biped posture, as 
suited to that end. But while thus gaining infinitely in 
advance of the animals, he must resign himself to incon- 
veniences, which spring from having lifted his head so 
proudly above his old comrades." 

In three essays published between 1775 and 1788, 
Kant deals with the question of races or hereditary 
varieties in the human species. According to hiro, a 
race is one of several offshoota derived from a single 
species, by the special development under favouring 
comlitioiia of certain germs latent in the parent atook. 


Haces of Men, 113 

which, once called into actual being, become a perman- 
ent part of the nature of the specially circumstanced in- 
dividuals, and pass by regular descent to their progeny. 
In the human stock he admits the existence of four dif- 
ferent races or permanent types of the one species of 
man — viz., a white race, a black race, a yellow or ohve- 
coloured race, and a Hunnish or Kalmuck race. The 
last mentioned is found in the Tartars and in the abori- 
gines of America ; the third in Hindustan ; the white 
race in Europe and adjoining parts of Asia and Africa. 
The several races, thus marked by their colour, have at 
first a definite locality appropriated to them. Should 
members of different races intermarry, the ofi^pring is 
a hybrid or half-breed, partaking equally of the charac- 
ters of both parents. When members of the same race 
(e,g,, Arab, Englishman, Finn, or other white) intermarry, 
the ofispring takes exclusively after one of the parents. 

More important than the distinction between the 
races, is the accoimt Kant renders of their existence as 
persistent types within the unity of the species. Here 
he insists on the contrast between Physiography, or the 
mere classificatory description of natural phenomena, 
and Physiogony, or the genealogical account of the pro- 
cess by which the present order of things was produced. 
While logical division, he reminds us, founds its classes 
on similarities, natural division aims at constituting 
families and kinds. " A natural history (in the literal 
sense) — what we are at present almost wholly without 
— would teach the changes of the earth's form, and the 
alterations terrestrial creatures (plants and animals) have 
undergone through natural migrations, and trace the 
divergences thus arising in the oii^Ti^ X.-^^^ ^-t \n5sA^- 

114 lumt. 

mental species. Probably it would reduce numbera irf 
what appear difierent spedes to races of one species, 
and transform the present prolix system of deacriptivB 
classiiioation into an intelligible natural system." 

While admitting variation, Kant insists upon its 
limits. He lays down the biological maxim, that 
" throughout the organic world, amid all altorationa in 
individual creatures, their speciea remains fixed." It is 
a vulgar and shallow conception, in his eyes, to look 
upon ail distinctions in our species as due to one cause 
— to chance or external circumstances. " Once accept 
a sii^le caso (tending to show that human ingen- 
uity can by external agency modify the character of 
species, and make that modification hereditary in the 
generative power), and we are as effectually lost sa 
■when we believe a single ghostrstory or work of magic." 
Speaking of a hypothesis of spontaneous generation 
(abiogenesis) of plants and animals from inorganic 
matter, and the consanguinity thus asserted between, 
mosses and men, he exclaims ; " I know anot altogethes 
unmanly fear, — the fear wliicii shrinks from 
unsettles reason from her first principles, and opens the 
gate for her to rove through boundless fancies." Thd 
absolute variability of species through endless gradatioi 
under the influence of cireunistances seems to him to lu 
hinge the very portals of natural science. To him a raoa 
is one thing and a species another: the Darwinians main- 
tain that no such rigid line of division can be drawn, 
and that with time and chance aC things are possible. 

" The conception of an organism," eays Kant, " implies by 
(Jib mere word a material object in which all the jmrts t 
reciprocally related as mean* atii enia, Knii. ftiw, cnxi. ovi-j 
tbougbt M a gystem o£ final cavaea. T\ia IwiKilmla'pj -' - 

Species arid Vai-ieties. 115 

a thing can, at leaet for Iminitn imileratanding, only be ex- 
plained on teleologicftl grounds, not on grounds of phyrical 
mechanism. The question of the prime source of all organi- 
Gation does not fall within the scope of phydcal science. If 
it can be answered at all, it muet be hy metapliyKics. For 
my part, I derive all orgaajeation from oi^nic beinga ; and 
the later fonna of such natural ohjecta I derive by laws of 
gradual development from original capacitiee (one comes 
across them often in transplantii^ plants) to be found in the 
organisation of the parent etoc^. How this parent stock 
itself came into existence, is a question totally beyond any 
natural philosophy possible for man." 

A footnote in one of the last pages of his ' Anthro- 
pology' shows that Kant had faced the idea of the 
evolution of man from a lower animal stage. Speaking 
of the unfortunate reaulta that might attend the new- 
bom infant's cry, in the rude state when man was 
largely at the mercy of wild beasts, he adds : " "We 
must assume, therefore, that in this primitive period the 
loud crying of the infant was unknown, and that sub- 
sequently there came a second period, when both par- 
ents had reached the civilisation required for domestic 
life. How nature brought about such a development, 
and by what causes it was aided, we know not This 
remark carries us a long way. It sugges1« the thought 
whether this second period, on occasion of some great 
physical revolution, may not be followed by a third, 
when an orang-outang or chimpanzee would develop 
the organs which serve for walking, touching, speaking, 
into the articulated structure of a human being, with a 
central organ for the use of understanding, and gradually 
advance under the training of society." 

Has Kant cautiously put the future instead of the 
past, and Jiin(eii at wliat probably Vnw 'beaa. isiOaKt Sloisci. 
mimt may tme day be i 



Kart'h work as a pliiloaopher in the stricter senae may 
be said to begia about his thirty-eighth year. Seven, 
years before that time, no doubt, his eaaay on the Prin- 
ciples of Metaphysic, issued as a specimen of his capacity 
to teach, had indicated the future philoEopher. lb & 
technical discussion he had weighed the claims of the 
principles of Contradiction and of Sufficient Eeason t* 
be criteria of truth and error, and contributed hia quota. 
to the dispute between Crusiua and the Wolfiana. Ho 
bad himself added two principles of secondary nature :: 
a " principle of succession," affirming that change in 
substances is only possible so far as they are connected. 
_with others in reciprocal dependence ; and a " principla 

I coexistence," affirming that the affinity or reciprocity 
B^Jween auhatancea necessarily presupposes a comi 

cause of this interconnection. These are two 
a whiuh remain landmarks in his speculation. Only; 

a years go on they cease to be presented as laws operat; 

B in things, and appear only as the logical consequencea 

' the laws which regulate the imdetatandinij Yet 

Hume, 117 

they serve to indicate a Platonist mode of thought which 
Kant never quite ahandoned. 

Apart from this early dissertation, however, the first 
period of Kant's philosophic fruitfulness begins with the 
close of the Seven Years' War, and extends to 1766. The 
four essays published in the beginning of this period 
are so closely connected in subject, that it seems doubt- 
ful whether the order of publication entirely corresponds 
with the order of composition. Most of them must have 
been written in 1762. "We know from Herder, who, 
whilst teaching in a Konigsberg school, contrived to 
attend Kant's lectures from August 1762 to the close of 
1764, that Kant was then keenly interested in Hume*^ 
and Eousseau. The first lecture to which Herder list- 
ened discussed the question whether there are other 
spirits than our souls. It criticised with easy irony, 
and many amusing anecdotes, the superstitions of cobolds 
and sprites, ghosts, magic, and haimted houses ; showed 
how a natural explanation of such phenomena was 
always to be preferred ; and did not hesitate to suggest 
that certain miracles might be accounted for on these 
grounds. In the course of their familiarity during these 
years. Herder was initiated by Kant into the "Eous- 
seauiana and Humiana," and learned to correct the one 
by the other, and both by his teacher. The nature of the 
influence exerted by Eousseau has been already alluded 
to; that of Hume will become evident as -we go -on. 
We shall see that in both cases the process was sim- 
ply the ferment caused by a seminal word thrown into 

1 Sulzer's translation of Hume's 'Enquiry concerning Human 
Understanding * appeared in 1756, and Kant next year is found recom- 
mending it to bia cl&aa, Aj>parefrUly lie ^<\ noVi x^^'^^g^ss^ 

k mind well prepared to produt 

L 118 

^^^^V If the current metaphysics of Germany had ever 
^^^^nerioualy affected Kant, the time waa now past. Look- 
^^^^■Slg back upon his philosophical teesons from the vantage- 
^^^ gpotmd of some scientifiu experience, he was profotmdly 
impressed by their unreaiity and instability, Por him, 
as for his king, Frederick IL, "Wolf was only a transition 
stage, and was succeeded by the influence of Newton, 
Locke, and Voltaire. Yet both retained the love of 
their youth; the vetetan king in 1780 warmly recom- 
mended "Wolfs logic to Grerman schools and unipersi- 
ties, long after the time when he had as enthusiastically 
asked the teachers to study "Loo." It was in a epirit 
to Locke and his followers that Kant spoke of 
itaphyaics as "a bottomless abyss, a gloomy oeeaa 
neither shore nor lighthouse," and of philosophical 
veries as " meteors whose brilliancy gives no prom- 
of durabihty." But be is aware how futile are the 
ipea to mend these defects by imitating the procedure 
the mathematicians. " It is the business of philoso- 
he says in the essay he sent in competition to th& 
irlin Academy, " to break up the confused ideas wMcIi 
find to hand, and to render them precise and definite, 
is the business of mathematics to put together and 
impare given conceptions of magnitude — conceptions 
wliich are clear and certain,— and then to see what can 
be inferred from them." While mathematics starts from, 
precise definitions of its elemente, and constructs its ob- 
jects, philosophy in its present stage can only hope to 
discover its elements by observation, abstraction, and 
reflection. If mathematical 

Questions of Method, 119 

structive, philosophic method is analytic and tentative. 
" The genuine method of metaphysics is at bottom iden- 
tical with that which Newton introduced into physical 

It is the old warning of Bacon and Descartes and the 
philosophic reformers : — ^we have no sound material for 
building in philosophy, and our first eflforts should be 
directed to securing some, however little. " When the 
philosophers strike upon the natural method of sound 
reason ; when they look first of all for what they surely 
and unquestionably know of the abstract conception, 
without as yet making any claim to give a full explana- 
tion ; when they only draw inferences from these certain 
data, and when, on any change in the application of an 
idea, they note whether the idea, though its symbol 
remains the same, may not have imdergone a change 
also, — then, though they may not bring so many dis- 
coveries to market, those which they oflter will be war- 
ranted sound." 

After noting the dangers peculiar to metaphysics from 
the want of any immediate connection between word 
and meaning, and from the tendency to treat the non- 
perception of an attribute as proof of its non-existence, 
Kant proceeds to examine the principles of morals and 
theology. In morals he finds the fundamental idea of 
obligation involved in an obscurity which afiects the 
whole system of ethics. The " I ought " means either a 
problematical necessity (I ought to do A, if I wish to 
obtain B), or I ought absolutely and without regard for 
consequences. In the second case we have the true im- 
perative of moral obligation. Positively this imperative 
may he expressed as, " Do the most ^edft^\. >ilfciMi^ y^'si^^'^^ 



by thy means ; " and negatively, " Omit whatever hinders 
the greatest possible perfection attainable by thy means." 
Itut these fonaal rules are no auifieient guides to action. ^ 
They result in specific obligations only when certain i| 
indemonstrable material principles are reeof 
exemplifying them. But how, the question rises, are ws-f 
to recognise the material principles of obligation 1 
f eehng or by reasoning ! AH that can bo said is, that 
though the material maxim or specific obhgatton may be % 
treated formally as a case of the general principle, Btill 
no analysis can ever show the ground on which it is bo 
subsumed : we cannot, in short, tell why or how the 
maxim leads to perfection. 

In these remarks Kant ia treating of the problems 
which had exercised Hutcheson, Shaftesbmy, and Humej 
but at the same time, the position given to the idea of 
obligation shows another current, which in time came to 
be dominant in his miad Passing to the philosophy of 
religion, he distinguishes two departments of theology i 
of unequal evidence, The certainty which we can hope I 
to attain of God as a moral governor and providen 
at best only approximate. But if by God we underatanij 
the absolutely necessary Being, we have, he think%^ 
knowledge which seems to promise more certainty t 
most other philosophical trutlia. On this topic he t 
larges in a special essay, the " Only ^KWffjftfe ground f< 
demonstrating God's existence." Of the cogency of 1 
argument he speaks with modesty. " It is nnquestioii 
ably necessary," are his closing words, "to be convinceci 
of God's existence ; but it is cot quite eo nee 
demonstrate it." All that be contends for ie 
be such a demonBtiatvon, It tkiiA ina.«« 

Morals amd Religion, 121 

he lays down. There are four ways in which it may be 
conceived that we can demonstrate the being of God : 
two which may be styled a priori^ and two a posteriori. 
In the former, starting from the conception of possibility, 
we may either from the groimd of possibilities argue to 
the existence of God as consequent (the ontological proof 
of Anselm and Descartes); or from the possibilities of 
things as consequents, argue to the existence of God as 
their ground. 

The latter form of the a priori argument is that re- 
commended by Kant as alone holding out hopes of a co- 
gent proof. He begins by noticing the peculiarity of the 
predication of existence. What is meant by saying that 
something is or exists 1 " Existence," he remarks, " is 
no predicate or determination of anything whatever, but 
rather a predicate of the thought which we have about 
it" But this inaccurate distinction does not carry us 
far : it only indicates that existence is a predication sui 
generis^ and that as " absolute position " it is to be dis- 
tinguished from the " relative position " or mere logical 
relation expressed by the copula in a proposition. It 
scarcely throws more light upon the vexed question of 
the relation of thought to reality, to say that it is the 
special source of certain knowledge in experience, medi- 
ate or immediate, that entitles ns to affirm existence, — 
unless some attempt is made to probe the conditions of 
experience. But this Kant does not attempt. Any solu- 
tion he suggests woidd be to the effect that existence 
is given, and that thought only describes or classifies 
it Instead of trying to find how the actually existent 
differs from the merely possible, he contends that, if 
there are possibilitiea in human ttio\ig)a.\i^ \IhaTL^ xis^'KSJs^ ^^ 

122 Kant. 

poBBibility is to be made impossible (wltich vonid be 
impossible), there must be an absolutely neceaaary Exist- 
ence whicb renders these poasibilitiea poasibla Furttei 
logical considerations show that this necessary Being 
muet be one, aimple, imehangeable, and eternal : pos- 
sessed of intellect and will : in one wonl, God. Thus, 
after cutting the strings of his proof by the initial state- 
ment, that thought is one matter and exiatence another, 
he treats the exhibition of the necessary correlation of 
possible and actual, and of the inherent centralisation 
which dominates thought, as equivalent to a proof of 
the real exiatence of a Deity, This is truly a " dogmatic 

The a posteriori form of the same argument presents 
it under a more interesting aspect. Examining the 
properties of things known to us by experience, and 
observing that, in order to be so constituted as th^ 
must be to perform their combined functions, there ia 
needed a unity in diversity and a harmony in separation, 
we are led to conclude the existence of a single principle 
on which the feasibility of everything depends. Alike 
in geometry and in physics, Kant shows how a single 
property of space or a single law of nature is fertile in 
innumerable results ; which could not be, unless many 
apparently independent agencies were really coHiperating 
in general consilience to a common aim. Such m\ 
pendenoa between what seem isolated forces ia only 
sihle, he thinks, on the assumption of a fundamenl 
unity of principle. But it would be a mistake to atl 
butc this consilience, as found iu the geometrical 
mechanical laws of nature, to the act of divine voliUoa 
All thai it tends to bIiott is, ftuA. liiima.W 'ssaJ.-j Qi wj.b- 


NatuTCtl Theology. 123 

stance is the n^cessaiy presupposition of that adapta- 
tion to comple3C harmony by simple means which is 
found on examination to characterise the objects of 
geometry and mechanical science. 

The case is altered when we pass^from inorganic 
to organic nature. In the former, the harmony was due 
to the necessary consilience of primary elements in virtue 
of general laws. In the latter, the adaptation of the 
various parts in an organism, each of which has no 
necessary suitability to the rest, is due to an artificial 
coalition. The plant and animal are contingent and 
arbitrary units, and imply for their existence the exer- 
cise of intelligence and will, — in one word, design. 
Kant's " improved method of natural theology " is 
thus a double-barrelled argument. It infers not merely 
a wise designer from the display of art in the adapta- 
tions of organic objects, but also a primal united source 
of the very attributes of nature itself. 

" The contingent order in the parts of the world, so far as 
it indicates as its source an act of will, can be of no use 
towards proving that God created the matter of the universe. 
Such is the art shown in the combination of the sentient 
organs of animals with those for voluntary motion and vital 
function, that the man must be wiKully blind who, when his 
attention is directed to the point, fails to perceive the wise 
Author of Nature who arranged so admirably the constitu- 
ent matter of the animal body. But he can go no further. 
Whether this matter is eternal and self-subsisting, or has 
been produced by the same Author, remains doubtful. We 
come to a different conclusion when we remark that the 
perfection of nature is not always artificial, but that rules 
of great utility are sometimes linked together in necessary 
unity, and that such an interconnection lies in the very "^os*- 
Bibilitiea of things. What shall we conclwdL^ feota. «aOcL «sv 

I2t ICaat. 

observation! Is this unity, this fruitfol hannonionsnea?, 
poadble apart feota Jependence npon a wise Author ? The 
prevalence of a. regularity bo wise and fur-reaching forbiila 
this. But OB the unity in question has its foundations in 
the veiy posxibilities of things, there must be a wise Being, 
apart from which all these natural objects are not possible, 
fuul in -which, ns an aU-embiacing basis, the constituent 
natures of endless natural objects enter into regular relatione 
of union." 

The " False Subtlety of Four Figures of Syllogiani " 
is somewhat inept as a criticism of Aristatle, although it 
may bo valid as ^oinat the fonnal logic of Kant's own 
tirae. This logic, which Kant inherited from the Wolf- 
iana and AristotelianB, may have deserved the chatge that 
it "treated the second, third, and fourth figures of syl- 
logism as inferonces not requiring the interpolation of 
other judgments;" but Aristotle was not open to the 
same acensation. Unfortunately Kant knew little of 
Aristotle, except in the conventional form legitimated bv 
tradition. And ho went on teaching the old doctrinM 
to his pupils, occaaionally modifying them in detail, Infl 
never fully confronting them with the new logic whi<^ 
cama to light in hia 'Criticism of a priori Reasoning.' 

The chief interest of the essay lies in its remarks on 
judgment ab the cognitive faculty of iirat order. An 
act of judgment is not merely a distinguishing between 
two things: such pJti/siedl distinguishing may be in- 
ferred whenever a creature is seen to be impelled bj 
dificrent impressions to different courses of action. 
when we have in addition a recognition of the 
tion, this is logical judgment. It is a faculty ft 
mental and peculiar to human beings, and implies 
powoi of Slaking oui 

Negative Qitantities. 125 

of our thoughts— impHes, in short, consciousness or the 
faculty of inner sense. Such self-consciousness is the 
basis of knowledge.^ As expressed, this faculty of logi- 
cal judgment has two forms — Understanding (Verstand) 
and Eeasoning (Vemunft), These are hpth acts or pro- 
cesses of judgment — the former being immediate, the 
latter mediate. Understanding, or the faculty of appre- 
hension, helps to make our ideas distinct ; Eeasoning or 
Eatiocination, to make them completa Understanding 
is the power of seeing single connections, of discovering 
the several features distinguishing an object ; Eeasoning 
is the power which combines these features together so 
as to form a totaL Psychologically, judgment is alike in 
the single step of apprehension and in the combination 
of these single steps; but epistemologically, in their 
relation to the method of science. Understanding and 
Eeasoning can be distinguished. 

The 'Attempt to Introduce the Conception of Nega- 
tive Quantities into Philosophy' exhibits a decided 
approach to Hume. There are, says Kant, two species 
of opposition — logical and real. Logical opposition is 
found between two propositions which severally affirm 
and deny a given attribute of a given subject; and in 
such a case the two propositions cannot both be true, un- 
less they are both imperfect statements taken on an inade- 
quate groimd. In real opposition, the two statements are 
equally positive, and only distinguished as positive and 
negative when brought into relation with each other. 
Thus, we have the two propositions : — A has to receive 

1 That relations of thought (judgments) are the instruments which 
turn sensations into objective things — the doctrine of the Criticism of 
Pure Reason — is thus hinted in 176*2. 

I 126 JCant. 

jEIOO from B : A ov/qs £100 to C. Taken aeparately, 
wo have no reason to speak of one of these as negative 
more than the other. But when taken together, they 
jiresent a real opposition, and may he conceived aa ••■ and 
- quantities which cancel each other. Thus, while in 
logical opposition, the one memher of the antithesis is a 
mere negation or absence : in real repugnance, two posi- 
tive grounds respectively cancel the result which would 
follow from the other. This idea Kant illustrates by 
various cases. Thus, impenetrability may be treated as 
negative attraction — that is, aa genuine repulsion ; and 
the occupation of space may be explained as the re- 
sultajit from the opposition of these two forces. Plea- 
sure and pain are really repugnant, whilst pleasure has 
its logical opposite in indifferanca Pain, ie., is nega- 
tive pleaanre, or a, positive agency cancelling the plea- 
sure accruing from other souices. So vice is called 
negative virtue, in the sense that it is a spring of action 
contending against the moral law. 

In the further course of the essay, Kant offers some 
considerations on the application of this idea of real 
repugnance to the phenomena of change. " Something 
which exists ceases to exist ; " but this ia only part of 
the truth. In tlie phrase of the essay, "Every vanishing 
is a negative arising." Thus abstraction may be termed 
negative attention — i.e., attention fixed on something else 
which expels the former object of consciousness. 

" It is a delusion to suppose we have explained the ceew- 
tion of the positive results of our mental activity, betauae we 
give them the name of omissions. The more we eKomine 
oar commonest and moat confident judgments, the more we 
are struck by discovering how ottea ste dei^iva ouiaelYea hy 

Logical and Heal Opposition. 127 

mere words, without understanding the thing. When I 
have not a certain idea before me, and have not had it at 
all previously, it is no doubt intelligible enough to say I 
omit to think it — this word only meaning that as the ante- 
cedent is absent, the consequent is absent also. But when 
we ask how an idea that was in pur minds a minute ago is 
there no longer, the same answer has no sense. The not- 
being is now privation — the omission now means the imdo- 
ing of an activity which was in existence just before." 

It is often difficult to say if a given negation is a 
mere defect due to some absence of force, or a priva- 
tion due to the collision of two positive springs of 
action. In the mental world, inactivity of mind may 
be the resultant of an equilibrium of forces; and the 
forces may be greater taken separately than in many 
cases of active thought — only they neutralise each other. 
And the same caution is necessary in our moral judg- 
ments, where, in the words of Bums, — 

" What's done we partly may compute ; 
But know not what's resisted." 

The conclusion of the essay is as follows :-^ 

" I very well understand how a logical consequent flows 
from its antecedent by the law of identity : an analysis of 
the antecedent shows it to contain the consequent. Thus 
composition is the antecedent of which divisibility is the con- 
sequent. . . . But how something follows from something 
else, and not in virtue of the law of identity, is what I should 
like to see explained. . . . The former species of ground I 
term the logical, the latter the real, antecedent. . . . Now as 
to the real antecedent, and its bearing on the consequent, my 
question presents itseK in this simple shape : How am I to 
understand that because something is, something else is ? A 
logical consequent results, because it is part and parcel of the 



antecedent. Man ia fallible ; his fallibility is a conBequence 
of hia finite nature ; fox if I analyse the conception of a 
fiiiite mind, I see that it impliea fallibility. But the will 
of God ia the real reason for the existence of the wotld. 
Now here, the divine will ia one thing ; the existing wcffld 
is Bomething else. Yet given the one, the other follows. . . . 
Here analyse the conception of divine will as much as you 
please, you will never find an existing world implicit in it 
luid following Ironi it by the law of identity. I decline lo 
he put off with the words Cause and Effect, Force and Action ; 
for if I begin by treating one thing as the cause of Bomethiny 
else, or invest it with the character of an effect, my thouglit 
of it virtually includes the relation of real antecedent to con- 
sequent. And that once done, it ia easy to see how the con- 
sequent follows by the law of identity. ... Of oppoaition 
I have a clear idea founded on the law of contradiction. I 
can see how, by asserting that God is infinite, I cancel the 
predicate mortal, as contradictory to infinitude. But how 
the motion of one body is cancelled by the motion of another, 
when the two are not contradictory, is a very different ques- 
tion. If I presuppose inipenetrability standing in real oppo- 
fiition to each and every force that eeeka to penetrate into the 
space occupied by a body, I can understand liow the move- 
ments are cancelled ; but in that case I have confronted one 
real opposition with another. But suppose we attempt to 
explain teal opposition in general, and to give a clear con- 
ception how, because something exists, something else ia 
annihilated. Can we say more than I have already said — that 
it does not tnlce place in virtue of the law of contradiction' 
1 have reflected on the nature of our knowledge, paitic 
OS to our judgments about antecedents and consequenta 
will one day present in fiill the results of myresearcheft 
conclusion is : that the connection between a real ani 
and something which is thereby created or annihilated 
never be expressed by a judgment, but only by a concept 
No doubt this conception may by analysis be reduced 
pier oonceptionB of real antecedents : still, after iiU, our fcnow- 
Jeifge of this connection alwajaculminateamBimpleaud irre- 

Hume and Kant. 129 

ducible conceptions of real antecedents, of which the relation 
to their consequents can never be made perfectly clear." 

It may be well to set beside this passage some sen- 
tences from Hume's Essays (for Kant apparently was 
acquainted only with the * Enquiry,* and not with the 
* Treatise on Human Nature ') : — 

"All relations concerning matters of fact seem to be founded 
on the relation of cause and effect. ... I venture to affirm 
as a general proposition which admits of no exception, that 
the knowledge of this relation is not in any instance attained 
by reasoning apriorif but arises entirely from experience. . . . 
The mind can never possibly find the eflfect in the supposed 
cause by the most accurate scrutiny and examination ; for 
the eflfect is totally diflferent from the cause, and consequently 
can never be discovered in it. ... It is confessed that the 
utmost eflfort of human reason is to reduce the principles 
productive of natural phenomena to a greater simplicity, and 
to resolve the many particular effects into a few general causes 
by means of reasonings from analogy, experience, and obser- 
vation. But as to the causes of these general causes, we 
should in vain attempt their discovery ; nor shall we ever 
be able to satisfy ourselves by any particular explication of 
them. . . . Elasticity, gravity, cohesion of parts, commimi- 
cation of motion by impulse : these are probably the ulti- 
mate causes and principles which we shall ever discover in 

The resemblance between the two writers is at this 
point so close, that it compels us to consider Kant as 
influenced by Hume — though it would be a mistake 
to treat him'as a careful student of his predecessor. In 
Hume's mind the question is clear. Convinced as he is 
" that all our distinct perceptions are distinct existences," 
and " that the mind never perceives any real connection 
between distinct existences," Hume ia a&kmig Ilq^ tk^ 

p. — r. \ 

130 Kant. 

fact that we belieTe in such, real and necessary c 
tion can be explained or accounted for. Kant has not 
yet reached any auch clear formulation of the i! 
gradually he is brought face to face vith the contraei 
between the real and the phenomenal world, — betwerai 
the world of trao being, as the idealists call it, and tha 
world of change and becoming ; — the contrast between 
the world assumed by formal logic, and the world which: 
the real scieuces have to analyse. On the one hand) 
we have a world of forms, orders, classes ; on the other, 
a world of forces, evolution, and natural kinds, Thft 
ordinary logic has no means for explaining, or indee< 
taking account of, the nexus between real existencee. 

Two ideas are etrugghng for the mastery in his mind 
He still retains a hold of the idealist position — that ^ 
the distinct existences we perceive are in the last ri 
dependent on a fundamental unity theistically conceived 
But he is eiinally animated by the spirit of the experi 
mental sciences, which seem at least to proceed from tl 
parts to the whole — or rather from a given particular fa 
to its connections and generalisations, to its antecedent^ 
consequents, and uniformities. Perhaps the best indej 
of his position at this period, between English empiq 
cism and German rationalism, is seen In the remark 
accompanying his notice of lectures for 1765 ; — 

" Philosophy heing," lie says, " by its very nature the 
aesa of manhood, no wonder difficidties are felt in ada 
it to the untrained facnlties of the yoong. The youth, 
loose from Hehool-inatruction, had been in the habit of " 
ing ; and so, he thinks, he will now learn philosophy. B 
that cannot be ; he must now leam to philosophise. . . 
The true method of philosophic teaching is zetetic — t.*., i 
quiring s only witll the fuller gtowtb. ol Teoaonm^doeB it 

Frofframme of his Lectures. 131 

some instances become dogmatic — 1.«., positive or decided. 
The philosophical text-book, therefore, is not to be treated 
as a standard for our judgments, but only as an occasion 
for forming judgments about the author's ideas — it may be, 
against them. The method of reflecting and drawing conclu- 
sions for himself is the craft in which the pupil wants to 
gain a mastery. . . . And hence it will be apparent how 
unnatural it is for philosophy to be a professional study 
(Brotkunst) : its inmost character is violated when it has to 
adapt itself to the caprices of demand and the law of fashion. '^ 

After thus affirming philosophy to be nothing if not 
free and critical, Kant proceeded to sketch the order 
he proposed to adopt in his several courses for that 
session. In the course on Metaphysics, the early lec- 
tures would deal with experiential psychology, ' where, 
avoiding all mention of soul, a reasoned account would 
be given of the facts or phenomena of the mental lifa 
Going on next to the theory of living bodies (the biology 
of the period), and thirdly to cosmology, or the theory of 
the material world, he would come in the fourth place 
to ontology, which expounds the general properties of 
things, and includes rational psychology (where the idea 
of soul or spirit is brought in), and would terminate 
with rational theology. This arrangement-a compro- 
mise between Lockian tendencies and the traditional 
philosophy — ^has, according to Kant, the advantage of 
reserving the hardest points to the last, and allowing the 
hearers, who drop off before then, to carry away some 
definite results from their attendance. In logic, post- 
poning to a later period the higher logic, which is a 
criticism and a regulative of all philosophy, he would 
treat mostly of common logic, which is a criticism and 
a regulative of the healthy intellect, aa \\) c.oxcva'& \b^» 

133 Kant. 

contact witli crudeness and ignorance on the one hand, 
and with science and learning on the other. The Logic 
course included also a brief digression into a criticiam, 
of the Taste, or .^thetics. In ethics, alone, docs Kantl 
make distinct reference to Enghsh thintera. 

Some time ahout 1760 Kant had, like the rest of the 
world, been smitten with curiosity about the allegecl 
spiritualistic performances in which Swedenborg figured! 
Though generally disposed to scepticism in the matter <A 
supernatural apparitions, he was somewhat staggered bj 
the show of circumatontiality in the SwedenborgiaH 
visions. !Not content with gettii^ friends to mal 
inquiries for him on the spot, he even wrote to t! 
seer himself, who, however, returned no reply. F 
some time he either had not complete disbelief in tl 
stories, or at least he declined to express it. In a letter 
to FrL V. Knobloeh, which, from internal and other 
evidence, must have been written about 1763 (and not 
in 17S8 as Borowski puts it or in 1768 as a Sweden- 
horgian wishes to date it), he expresses no decided 
opinion on the spu'itualistic experiences. Ilia interest, 
indeed, was strong enough to make him spend seven 
pounds on a copy of Swedenhoiy'a great work {published 
years before, though Kant thought it was yet to come), 
and to study the alleged visions as well as the theories 
of the author. His investigations were talked about, and 
the importiinity of friends drew from him a book, — 
' Dreams of a Visionary explained by Dreams of Meta- 
physics,' — in its mixture of sympathy and scorn, spiritual- 
ism and materialism, the strangest of his works. 

It begins by noting the absence of any real answer to 
sucb questions as, 'What ia a B^mt\ Ho'w is spiritual 

Swedefnhorg. 133 

presence detected? How is spirit related to matter? 
Why a spirit and a body constitute a unity, and what 
the forces are which, on the occurrence of certain dilapi- 
dations, destroy this unity, are questions transcending 
our intelligence. And yet that there is a class of im- 
material natures to which the soul belongs seems highly 
probable. The inconceivability of the relation between 
body and spirit is, after all, due to the fact that our ideas 
of external action are derived from experiences of bodily 
pressure or impact. But there can be no pressure be- 
tween body and spirit May we not suppose that in 
every substance, even in the simple elements of matter, 
there is an internal agency, and that it is with this in- 
ternal agency, and not the outward, that the spirit was 
directly in contact ? In these internal modifications the 
soul would thus come to perceive the condition of the 
external universe which corresponds to them. 

Setting aside, therefore, the outward dead matter, sub- 
ject to mechanical laws, we may suppose, on the other 
hand, an immaterial world consisting of beings subject 
to what we may call pneumatic laws. It will include 
all created minds, whether conjoined with matter or not, 
the sensitive subjects in all kinds of animals, and all 
other vital principles in nature. Between this imma- 
terial world and the materia] any intercommunication 
must be held accidental or due to divine interference, — 
the former being a self-subsistent, self-contained system. 
In the present life, accordingly, the human soul has 
relations with two worlds. As united with a body in 
one person, it is percipient of the inward agency, and 
indirectly of the external phenomena, of material nature. 
As a member of the spirit-world, it Te(i^\N%%» ^sv'i. ^sss^^ 

WtSi Kant, ^1 

raits purely immaterial influencea. " This," says Kant, 
with a jeer, " is as good as proved, or might easily be 
proved, if ^ve were to go into detail, or, better still, will 
yet bo proved one day, I know not where or when." 
It is also probable that the spirits which are separate- 
ly existent have no direct consciousness of the si 
MTorid, and though they ore in communication with. 
Bniman spirits, the two kinds of spirit cannot convey 
Beleaily to each other their peculiar ideas. 
I Such a hypothoBis may perhaps receive a slight corro-. 
■boration by inferences or conjectures from observed facta, 
■Bow often does the focus towards which our efforts con-' 
fcyeige seem to lie outside ua I Does not the sense of' 
■dependence on others' judgment betray the tacit feeling; 
Bof a universal intellect, in which all thinking beings aw 
1st one ! When we consider how a secret force makeai 
Bus work for others' welfare, and how the moral instinctai 
Bxorco us out of our selRsh isolation, are we not led tO' 
t believe in a moral unity, and to see all particular will^ 
I dependent on a universal wOl ! Dwelling on these coa* 
■ aiderations, we can perhaps neglect the strange diverges 
■jties seen in the moral and physical conditions of man 
B^or. the corporeal world, we may say, prevents these 
■spiritual affinities appearing in their full distinctness, 
KYet even here, the soul of man is a member of the imma- 
Bterial world : present and future, life and death, maks 
Hone continuous whole in the order of spiritual nature. 
I But it may be asked, \VTiy, if such a community 
■exists, is its appearance so rare 1 To answer this objec 
Bdon, let us remember the radical unlikeness between 
Hjthe ideas of the same person considered as man and a 
^Bpmt The possibihty of any commuoication betve^ 

Spiritualistic Hypothesis, 135 

the pure spirit and its matter-clad kinsman depends on 
establishing a connection between abstract spiritual 
ideas, £aid cognate images which awake £aialogous 
or symbolical conceptions of a sensuous kind. Such 
associations are formed in persons of peculiar tempera- 
ment At certain times such seers are assailed by appa- 
ritions. which, however, are not. as they suppose, spMt- 
ual natures, but only an illusion of the imagination, 
which substitutes its pictures for the real spiritual influ- 
ences, imperceptible to the gross human souL Thus 
" departed souls and pure spirits, though they can never 
produce an impression upon our outward senses, or stand 
in community with matter, can still act upon the soul of 
man, which, like them, belongs to a great spirit-common- 
wealth. For the ideas they excite in the soul clothe 
themselves according to the law of fantasy in allied 
imagery, and create outside the seer the apparition of 
the objects to which they are appropriate." 

In this " fragment of esoteric philosophy " we have a 
" dream of a metaphysician " — a " fairy-tale from the 
fool's paradise of metaphysic." If we consult a "vulgar 
philosophy " for a theory of ghosts, we get a diflferent 
style of explanation. It founds upon the power by which 
the senses seem to localise their objects, at the points 
where. the lines marking the direction of the impression 
intersect. If we allow with Descartes that imaginative 
ideas are attended by movements in the brain, we may 
perhaps assume that in normal people the lines of such 
movements meet within the brain, whilst in people 
whose brains are by birth or accident perturbed, the 
imaginary focus of the lines falls outside the brain, and 
the creations of a disordered imagLnation ^i^ tViaSi \a<iaL- 

136 Kant. 

ised in outward apace. Such an explanation reduces 
the apirit-aeer from a half-dweller in another world to 
the level of a candidate for the Innatic asylum ; and in- 
stead of sending the claimants of eupematural vision to 
the stake, recommends them a dose of medicine. 

■Jet Kant does not authoritatively decide in either 
way. He thus concludes this part of his essay :- — 

" I do not pledge myself lo deny truth to the hostB of 
ghoHt-Btories altogether ; and yet, what though curious is 
common, reserve my BoepticiBni about each eeparately, while 
allowing them some credihihty aa a whole. The reader may 
decide as he pleases ; for my part, the preponderance of 
arguments for the first theory is great enough to keef me 
a seriouB and undecided listener of all such marvelous 
tales. It is no doubt true that wc con never claim to have 
either hy reasoning or observation exhausted any object of 
the senses, were it even a drop of water, a grain of sand, or 
anything simpler still, so boundless is the complexity even 
in the smallest things which nature offers for investigatiou 
to a. limited intellect like that of man. But this does not 
apply to the philosophic theory of spiritual beingSL That 
may he completed, if only negatively : we can discover, that 
is, limits to our intelligence, and gain the conviction that the 
phenomena and laws of physical hfe are all we are permitted 
to know. But as for the principle of life or spiritual nature 
(which we do not know, hut merely conjecture), it can never 
be positively thought ; there are no dota for such a concep- 
tion in the whole range of our perceptions. We may make 
shift with negatives, so as to think sometliing so utterly dif- 
ferent from any object of sense ; hut the very possibility of 
the«e negatives rests neither on experience nor inference^ 
but on a fiction to which reason, when deprived of other 
refuge, flies for aid. Pneumatnlc^v, therefore, may be termed 
a theory of the necessary ignorance of mankind about a 
rapposed kind of beings ; and as such it may easily be up 
Wto the level of its ta^. And ao, one vn^iou^ chapter att 

Metaphysics in Danger, 137 

metaphysics, the whole question of spirits, I lay aside as 
done with and settled. Henceforth it concerns me not." 

The concluBion thus reached, that the sphere of know- 
ledge is limited by experience, remains fixed for Kant 
The existence of spirits is a metaphysical hypothesis. 
But whilst a scientific hypothesis takes only the funda- 
mental forces abeady known, £aid combines them in 
some mode (which must at least be possible) to produce 
the given phenomenon, a metaphysical hypothesis 
assumes some new and fundamental relation between 
causes and effects. Such chimerical fictions are no ex- 
planation, but merely devices to save labour. 

As a commentary on the essay, we may add a few 
words from a letter (April 8, 1766) to Mendelssohn, whom 
the jpersiflage of metaphysics grieved : " I can neither 
divest myself of a slight attachment to this kind of stories, 
nor can I help cherishing a conjecture that the arguments 
for them are sound, though the absurdity of the stories 
takes away all their value, and though chimeras and in- 
conceivabilities mar the argumenta ... As regards the 
stores of this kind of metaphysical knowledge at present 
in the market, it is neither fickleness nor frivolity, but 
the lessons of prolonged study, which make me hold it 
the wisest course to strip metaphysics of its dogmatic 
garb, and to meet its pretended science with scepticism. 
The use of this is no doubt negative merely, but it leads 
the way to positive gain ; for if the guilelessness of 
healthy ignorance needs only an organon in order to 
reach truth, the perverted intellect, with its sham 
science, must first have a cathartic.'' 




The record tracing Kant's mental history up to the year 
1770, has in the main a merely biographical interest 
With the publication of the ' Criticism of Pure Eeason ' 
the sage of Konigsberg emerges from his retirement, and 
before the close of the eighteenth century comes to hold 
the foremost place in European philosophy. A brief 
glance at the problems which chiefly exercised his con- 
temporaries will help to set Kant's own labours in a 
clearer Hght 

Modem Europe has inherited its philosophy from 
Greece smd Judaea. Medieval speculation in its main 
stream carried along a turbid mass of dogmas, some 
derived, through many and worthless intermediaries, 
from the lessons of Plato and Aristotle ; others due to 
the hopes and aspirations, sometimes morbid, of oriental 
seekers after God Its pride had been to forge links 
of argument binding earth to heaven, science to faith, 
facts of sense to ideas of reason. The modem world, 
as soon as it grew conscious, began to groan imder this 
burden of theory which dictated to human thought the 
objects of belief and the limits of knowledge, Especi- 

The * Nomim Organum' 139 

ally loud grew the complaint when the severance grew 
more and more palpable between what the ecclesiastical 
philosophy taught as logically compacted truth, and what 
experience on every hand, from Columbus to Copernicus 
and Galileo, showed to be natural fact First came 
Bacon and the ' Novum Organum,' with the rejection of 
scholastic logic, — the rejection of the claim of human 
thought to control nature. Bacon's fundamental lesson 
is to condemn the tendency of the human mind to regard 
its habits of thought as laws of the imiverse, and to 
insist upon the duty of seeking without preposses- 
sion to learn the conditions on which the phenomena of 
the physical world repose. As against the ideas of the 
divine mind, by which he means the forms or objective 
laws regulating the constitution of a thing and the 
series of its phases, he subjects to criticism the so-called 
idola of the human mind, its inherent or acquired, 
universal or individual, scholarly or vulgar, tendencies 
to see in the teachings of experience only an exempli- 
fication of certain anticipations of its own. And this 
protest against the importation of subjective ideas, of 
principles of human convenience, such as adaptation/ 
and simplicity — and this assertion of the " form " (the 
aim of knowledge being thus defined as the discovery 
of that law or principle in an object which governs 
the order of its phenomena) — these, and some hints 
on the methods of elimination available in scientific 
inquiry, constitute Bacon's main contribution to phil- 
osophy. They had the effect of bringing things to 
the front, and putting thought out of view. The 
only use left for thought was to direct experiment, to 
collect and compare instances of a i^\\^TLQimft\ss^ '<^\n. 

a vie' 
first < 


a view to eliciting its fundamental, generic, objective 

The Bu^estioaa offered by the example of Bacon wer^ 
followed out Ijy Hobbea and by Euglisb philosophy ij 
its most characteristic ajid illustiious examples, 
first consequences of that example in Hobbea were th< 
adoption of what we may call an atomistic theory of 
nature and momlity. But the teaching of Ilobbes n 
not duly appreciated by the popular mind. It v 
Locke who really laid the foundation of the way of 
looking at the problems of life and mind which domin- 
ated English philosophy for at least half a century, and 
has not ceased to be an important factor in it at the 
present day. During the whole of the eighteenth cen- 
tury Locke and N^ewton are the "great twin brethren" 
of the EuTO])ean philosopliical firmament : and in theit 
name prophesy the prophets from the Rhone to thq 

I But Locke can only be nnderstood by a reference b 
' Cartesianism. Descartes, like Bacon, made a proteafi 
against scholasticism. But whereas Bacon set on foot a 
movement outside the boundaries of the school, whidl 
grew and increased independently till it came badi 
strong enough to reconstitute philosophy, Descartes waB 
rather an internal reformer who sought to reconstniet 
the irregular edifice of medievalism on a new priuciplst 
That principle was the centrality and priority of thought;, 
A clear and distinct conception was made tlie certain 
evidence of reality and truth : eogito, ergo mtm. Thiift 
the negative criterion, that confosion and indistinctnea 
indicate some error in our ideas, was at one turn tranii 
7aieJ into the positive canon that whatever we cleail] 

Descartes and Locke, 141 

and distinctly think is true. What Descartes no doubt 
sought was to get rid of the eternal see-saw of argumen- 
tation, and to found the ultimate objects of belief on 
immediate or intuitive perception. We have, he says, 
certain ideas, — notably the idea of God, — which are 
unmistakable, and force themselves upon our thoughts 
whether we will or not : ideas which we do not volun-, 
tarily make, and which are the inevitable issue of our 
mental constitution : hence, argues Descartes, the objects 
of these ideas exist independently of our thoughts, of 
which they so obviously are the masters. It would not 
be easy to determine how far these metaphysical pre- 
sumptions are essential to Descartes : they certainly 
came to be the very essence of Cartesianism. Innate/ 
ideas — thoughts which, just because they were univer-j 
sally or generically thought, were treated as evidence ofl 
a reality beyond the mind — came to be the recognised! 
creed of the Cartesian school 

Against that doctrine Locke contends negatively and 
positively : negatively, by showing that such generic 
ideas are not verified as existing in all men when we 
appeal to experience ; positively, by showing that all our 
ideas can be traced either to sensations, or to reflection 
upon what takes place in the operation of our minds. 
Locke was the first who distinctly set in the front of 
philosophy the necessity " to examine our own abilities, 
and see what objects our understandings were or were 
not fitted to deal with." Bacon and Descartes had 
raised the question of the method suitable for gaining 
knowledge. Locke proposed the question as to the . 
limits of knowledge. And his answer in plain words t 
had been, that " all our knowledge consists in the view 

' 142 ICimt. 

the mind has of its own ideas," The chann which ho 
exercised upon hia age, however, resided in the ease and 
eimplieity with which the psychological history of our 
ideas was written from tlie elementary ccmatituents up to 
the hi^liest and moet complicated conjunctiona The 
normal individual, instejid of receiving certain ideas 
from a mysterious original constitution, found MmBelf 
gradually coming into poseeesion of the whole of his 
conceptions by a careful and intelligent attention to tlio 
loBaonB which nature gave tlirough his senses, and by 
the combination of these data according to his own 
free choice, giving unity or instituting relationship 
I between the data supplied to it Metaphysics was 
I transformed into psychology. Instead of the old dis- 
Itinction between Mind and Matter, Thought and Es- 
] tension, which had been cardinal for the Cartesian^ 
I Locke set up a uew distinction within the sphere of 
I eousciousness, a psychological parallelism between aa 
I inner and an outer sense (sensation and rejection) milk 
their respective ideas. Grant a susceptibility to the 
impressions of external sense (which does not seem to 
be asking much), and it is apparently possible to shov 
how all the diatinutions of mind and matter, substance 
and relations, cause and effect, morality and theology, 
can be psychologically explained as natural products 
the development of reflection. 

"With Berkeley, who turns round to examine 

' pnralleiism between inner and outer sense which Loi 

had adopted with Cartesian confidence, a further 

in the direction of idealism is taken. The Loc 

' theory had been something of a compromise, with 

elements in unstable equilibrium. It was possible 

Locke and Berkdey. 143 

his disciples to throw the main weight on extemall 
sense, and treat ahstract ideas and general conceptionaf 
as faint and dim traces of the full - bodied and vivia 
sensation. It was possible, on the other hand, t^ 
emphasise the operation of inner sense. Locke had 
shown that the secondary qualities of body (colour, 
smell, &c) were conditioned by the human organism; but 
he had held that the primary (mathematical) qualities 
were in bodies as they were in the mind, and had still 
accepted the view of gubsta age^as the unknown and 
obscure something on which the qualities of body are 
supported. Berkeley cut away these supports to realism. 
He showed that distance and extension were functions 
of the organism with its environment, not less than 
coloxir ; that they are not less relative, though differently^ 
relative, to the subject, than the secondary qualities 
As for the substances which Locke still acknowledged, 
he maintained that these abstract general ideas were 
metaphysical delusions. A thing, he taught, is a sum of 
perceptions, — a collection of ideas which have no exist- 
ence save in a mind perceiving them. Of these two 
orders of being, therefore, minds or spirits and the ideas 
or perceptions which exist in the mind, the universe is 
made up. Spirit, or that which perceives, is the only 
substance, or only thing truly self-existent. Ideas are 
thus passive and inert: they can do nothing, or, in 
strict language, be the cause of anything ; and hence to 
explain the origin and succession of ideas in our own 
consciousness we must call in something which is itself 
no idea but a spirit, or " incorporeal active substance," 
who is thus for us the Author of Nature, the cause of 
our ideas. It is God who has arranged our ideas in 

144 Kant. 

certain order : in themselves they throw no light u|k>u 
each other : their causality and other connections ai^ 
only rules for their behaviour to be leamt by observn- 
^ion. "There is nothing necessary oi essential in the 
case, but it dependa entirely on the will of the govern- 
ing Spirit." 

This attack on tlie cauaal principle — this assertion 
that there is no real causal connection between things, 
ibut only a juxtaposition imposed by Superior Will, 
md left open to our inspection — was resumed with 
vigour and on different ground by Knme- More 
thoroughgoing than Locke, Hume distinguishes be- 
tween the impressions, or more forcible and violent per- 
fccptions (sensations, passions, and emotions), as they 
{make their first appearance in the soul ; and the ideoi, 
jor faint images of these impressions, which we use in 
phinking and reasoning. He distinguishes, in short (and 
[the distinction is cardinal in Kant also), between "foel- 
•~^ ing"and " thinking. ""S^t ia with ideas founded upon | 
impresBions, and with such ideas alone and their rela- 
tions, that knowledge is concerned. When he cornea to i 
the ideas of Substance and Causality, and is obliged te ■ 
answer the question as to what feeling or impreBsion.v 
they are founded on, he raises specially important 4 
_^*i88ues.M Locke had allowed that there was something 1 
substantial in Substance, though he pronounced it un- ' 
knowable. Unme declared it to be oidy a " collectioii j 
'i of simple ideas united by the imagination." So far as 1 
' material substances were concerned, Berkeley but I 
j' said the same. But the Bishop of Cloyne was tenderer 
towards spiritual substance. Here Hume goes unhesi- 
tatingly to work. " They are the successive perceptions 



Hume (^ Svhstance and Cause. 145 

only that constitute liie mind : '' the notion of our own 
identity is due simply to the smooth and uninterrupted 
progress by which our thought on reflection is led along 
from one past impression to another. 

Very slightly different is the treatment of the idea of ^7 
Causation by Huma It was this part of his philosophy / 
which formed the special point of contact between him f 
and Kant; and did so, because in the 'Essays' it occu-y 
pies a prominent position, whilst Substance is only dis-i 
cussed in the earlier * Treatise on Human Nature.' He| 
points out that we have no impression of Causality on 
which our idea of it can be legitimately based ; we can 
no more perceive that one thing exerts power or acts 
upon another, than we can perceive a substance as the 
support of its attributes. " We never have any impres- 
sion that contains any power or efficacy ; we therefore 
never have any idea of power." "The simple view of 
any two objects or actions, however related, can never I 
give us any idea of power or of a connection betwixt f 
them ; this idea arises from the repetition of their union : j 
the repetition neither discovers nor causes anything in 
the objects, but has an influence only on the mind by 
that customary transition it produces; this customary 
transition is therefore the same with the power and 
necessity, which are consequently qualities of percep- 
tions, not of objects, and are internally felt by the soul, 
and not perceived externally in bodies." "Thus," says 
lsS£S^Y way of conmientary, " the conception of a cause 
is fallacious and misleading, and, in the mildest way of 
speaking, an illusion which may be so far excused, since 
the custom (a subjective necessity) of perceiving certain 
things or qualities of things associated with the existence 

p. — ^v. 1L 



(li others eitlier Gimultaneously or in bucc 

TUiawores taken for an objective necessity of asBigning I 

Buch a connection to the things themselves." 

Kant had heen originally trained under different phil- 
osophical auspices. Germany had not broken with tho I 
scholastic philosophy in the same decisive way as France | 
or England. The Lutheran Reformation had not dft 
throned Aristotle from his philosophic sway; and ii 
universities of Germany there still flourished a scllol 
asticism slightly accommodated to modem needs, i 
tinctured here and there by Cartesian ideas impoitei 
from the schools of Holland, The old alliance hetwea 
philosophy and theology remained to appearance intact 
and this theological tone had received fresh life from 
the example and doctrine of Leibnitz. The innovatinj 
ideas of Descartes, passing through the alembics i 
Christian theology and pagan pantheism, finally d 
peared in a new and imposing system of abstract n 
ing composed by Wolf and the Leibnitians. Scliolastii 
theology sprang up with renewed vigour. "With i 
abated confidence these thinkers sought to exliibit tin 
order of nature as a reasoned order of ideas, following il 
a logical chain. They sought to reach — and imagine( 
they had reached — a keynote by which nil the harmo 
nious miisic of the universe should be written c 
the all-embracing password which would open evei; 
gate and barrier in nature; the mainspring of th 
machinery of the world, on which the whole series of it) 
movements depended. The power of mathematics hat 
taught them to hope for similar miracles in metaphysici 
With ingenuous faith in the power of reason to accoaiplid 
whatever it felt necessary for its economy, they tried ti 

Wolf and nationalism. 147 

show that everything has a good ground for being what 
it is and nothing else. At first, indeed, the absolute 
necessity by which one thing devolves from another was 
confined to the range of abstract and ideal trutL But 
even in the occurrence of facts there was discovered a 
guiding principle— the principle of Sufficient Reason, or 
Principle of the Best Thus, although an event is con- ' 
tingent in the sense that it depends upon a combination 
of forces, which, so far as we know, have nothing in 
common, yet it is subject to a wider principle of adapta- 
tion to an end and of progress to the best, and is ac- 
cordingly to some extent governed by preconceived laws. 
There are thus two keys by which philosophy unlocks 
all mysteries. The Principle of Identity and Contra- j 
diction governs the consecutive trains of necessary truth 
— such truths, for example, as those of geometry. The 
Principle of Sufficient Reason explains the order of con- 1 
tingent events : they all converge towards the fulfilment 1 
of a divine plan, and accord with the counsels of absolute * 

No philosophy perhaps has held a stronger faith than | 
the Wolfian in the supremacy of reasoning, and none has I 
a better right to the name of Rationalism. Nor should j 
it ever be forgotten that in this assertion of reasoning 
as against fact of authority^ tradition, and observation, 
the Wolfians had got hold of a sound principle only 
requiring limitation. And that principle is, that even 
facts of observation, no less than facts imposed by 
authority, must be brought into a reasonable intercon- 
nection before they can be anything more than objects 
of amazement, doubt, or antipathy. Their error lay in 
a failure to estimate exactly how far these ^q\v^ts» ot 

scholastic philosu^'H} ' 

or England The Lutheran Itt. 

throned Aristotle from his philosopli" 

univeisities of Germany there still flo _ _. ^ 

[j accommodated to moderi- _ 

and there by Cartesian ideas 

Holland. The old alliance bt,., 

remained to appearance intact, 
had received fresh life from 
of Leibnitz. The innovating 
•*<^ through the alembics of 
Y^lllljjilniimii^ finally disap- 
^^7fl|4lf abstract reason- 
"•"»T. Scholastic 
With un- 
' exhibit the 
, following in 
:incl imagined 
11 tliG hamio- 
aTitten down; 
id open every 
ispring of the 
lole scries of its 
lathematics liad 
■ in metaphysics. 
Km to accomplish 
my, they tried to 

I ' ^ ' » 


Psychology in the ^ Ascendant, 140 

epidemic visited Germany. Pope's dictum, that "the 
proper study of mankind is man," might have served as 
motto to numerous books and bulky magazines. Analy- 
sis and classification of the human mind — accompanied, 
sometimes, by morbid introspection of consciousness — 
culminated in the threefold division of mental faculties 
into thought, feeling, and will, which was handed on \ 
from J. K Tetens (1736-1805) to Kant, and became the 
occasion of the subdivision of his * Criticism of Reasoning ' 
into three separate works. It is impossible to estimate i 
the amount of mischief which this doctrine of mental 
faculties wrought in Kant's system. His belief in theirJ^ 
reality is almost touching. Three superior faculties of [ 
knowledge (understanding, judgment, and reasoning) V 

' [4, 

match the threefold range of mental activity in general 
and get complicated with the triple stages of perception J 
(in sense, imagination, and apperception). Each of 
these faculties comes forward in his pages as an inde- 
pendent agent with a sway of its own : they deal with 
each other like sovereigns, conduct peace and war, and 
form treaties by means of intermediate powers. The- 
Reasoning usurps the place of the Understanding ; the 
Judgment allies the Senses with the Intellect; the Imagi- 
nation plays into the hands of the Understanding. Nor 
is this metaphorical and dramatic effect the worst. There 
is also engendered a feeling that the whole question 
before Kant is a psychological inquiry. And it takes 
some trouble to get over these personifications of mental 
action as psychological entities, and see that the real 
question, only encumbered by this baggage of faculties,^ 
is the more precise ascertainment of that objectivity or 
truth of knowledge which is attainable by human beings. 


/Kant discards the problem of psychology as seeondarj' 
Wnd bringB forward the problem of epi)itenwlogy — not 
) the nature of the soul, but the constitutive and regulatiTe 
^elements of human knowledge. 

Another battle, besides that between rationalistic or 
a priori methods and empirical or psychological inquiry, 
diriiled the thintera who wrote for the people. By 
them abstract questions about the supreme conditions of 
knowledge were replaced by argnmenta on the ultimate 
powers which influence human lifa Here we have the 
antagonism between theista and materialists. On the 
one hand stood the disciples of natural theoI(^, who 
fancied they saw a clerj ladder of aigument leading np 
from nature to the God of nature, and from this world 
to the world beyond the grave. Moses Mendelssohn, 
the Jewish philosopher, may serve as a type of these 
thinkers. The fundamental theses of theism are two ; 
Ahat there is possible, for natural reasoning, a discovery 
y*of a personal God, and a conviction of the personal 
Vimmortality of the souL Mendelssohn ai^es for the 
former in his ' Morgenstunden,' for the latter in hia 
'Phffido.' A noble heart, nourished on Jewish or on 
Cliristian faith, coming in course of time to dissever its 
ties with sectarian dogma, is anxious to give tlie sanc- 
tion of natural logic to the hallowed ideas borrowed, at 
least indirectly, from revelation In pantheism it sees 
a gulf of darkness scarcely less black than utter atheism 
or materialism ; and one can understand the horror with 
wtiich the prototype of " Nathan the Wise " heard the 
suggestion, —only too well founded,— that his friend, 
the great Lessing, had been drawn to sympathise in 
secret aoul with the heresy of Spinoza. 

Frederick ike Great. 151 

As yet, however, Spinozism lay in the background as 
a misunderstood and neglected f orca The troe enemy 
against which deism had to contend on the battle-fields 
of philosophy was materialism In its extiemer form, 
as presented by La Mettrie, materialism was an exag- 
gerated revival of the doctrines of Epicurus. It saw 
in the universe and in man nothing but the action of 
mechanical laws : it found no God in the world, and 
held the human soul to be a mere result of organisation. 
But there were probably many imable to adopt the creed 
in its integrity. Voltaire was an earnest and candid 
theist; and Friedrich IL, like his friend, accepted the 
argument from design " The whole world," says Fried- 
rich, " demonstrates the existence of a supreme, conscious, 
final cause : we have only to open our eyes to be con- 
vinced of it." But the "Great King," as Kant calls 
him, had abandoned the belief in immortality ; and to 
those who appealed to everlasting rewards and penalties 
as the sanctions of morality, he asserted virtue to be its 
own reward. 

There is a general similarity, indeed, between the re- 
ligious views of Friedrich and of Kant, as there is between 
both and Voltaire in his calmer moods. To ecclesiasti- 
cal Christianity, and the special doctrines of revelation, 
their attitude is indifference — which only becomes ac- 
tive hostility when they suspect an attempt to impose 
belief by the force of the civil and social arm. " The 
history of the Church," says the king, in words which 
might have been used by Kant, " is the arena of priestly 
ambition, intrigue, and selfishness : we find in it — ^not 
God, but — ^profane misuse of the divine name, by which 
the priests, objects as they are of popular reverence, 



eloak their own criminal deaires." The rescript of Jiine 
1740, by which Friedrich heralded a reign of toleration 
in religion — "Hier mns [wiu«s] ein jeder nach seiner 
Fasson Selich \_Fafon 8tUg\ werden" (Everybody in my 
kingdom must seek felicity after his own fashion ") — 
was the fruit of indifTerence to sectarian dogma in one 
who loved to call himself " the first servant of the State. " 
But if they reject supernatural religion, Kant, Friedrich, 
and Voltaire with one voice affirm the moral grandeur 
of Christianity. "Did the whole Gospel," aaid the aged 
king, "contain only this precept — 'What ye would that 
men should do to you, do je also to them likewise ' — it 
must he owned that these few words contain the sum- 
mary of all morality," 
/ — Amid these contending schools of thought — between 
/ the rationalising dogmatisni of the theistic nieiaphysi- 
J ciana and the sceptical doubts to which Hume had 
^ reduced Locke's account of the origin of our ideas — | 
/ Kant takes up a position which he styles the "critical" 
I standpoint. As against the dogmatic school, he lays ' 
I bare the fallacies, the contradicriona, the unreality of 
\ its methods and principles. The soul of man, the ' 
origines of the Cosmos, and the existence of God, 
are shown to be all three inaccessible to the investiga- 
^ tions of science. To tliis extent, therefore, he may 
seem to be agreed with Hume : so far, at least, ho 
had been shaken out of hia dogmatic slumbers by the 
Srjjl«h thinker. But on the other hand, his da 
of the moral ideas and of the law of duty seemed to J 
him to witness to the existence of a power superior to J 
cessity and chance^ a rational principle controlliii| 
I and administering the variety of human desiree, ( 

The ' Critical* Standpoint 153 .. '. , 

acting as if, though it appeared by its presence to be 
felt in man, it were something belonging to another 
sphere than the phenomenal or sense world that visibje 
man lived in. In short, it seemed as if, though we 
could kjiow nothing about it, a supersensible reality 
was at least discernible by moral faith ; or that moral 
action reposed for its very existence on the conviction 
that man was a citizen of an ideal world, and was 
bound to conform his life according to that world's 
requirements. Further, that the task so imposed on 
man of living an ideal life was impracticable for a 
sensuous being, unless he could look forward to eternity 
as the time allotted for approximating to an unattain- 
able ideal of holiness, and could also trust to a Power 
able to make the realities of physical life conform to 
and subserve the development of the ideal or intelligible 
nature. And yet that all these things could never be 
matters of knowledge, but only the reaction of faith in 
the soul, which compared the forces of sensuous appetite 
with the exceeding breadth and height and depth of the 
moral law. 

So much against the dogmatists and their pretended 
science of metaphysics. As against Hume, Kant seeks - . \ 
a rationale of the principles of science and of mathe- / 
matics. The result of Hume's examination had made V iL 
their objective validity a problem. As for mathematics, ( 
Hume (though Kant, ignorant of the * Treatise,' was ■ 
unaware of the fact) had maintained that our only real ' 
idea of space or extension was an idea of visible or tan- 
gible points distributed in a certain order : all the ex- 
actitude of immaterial points and lines without breadth 
was mental fiction. He had reduced mathematics tok 


an experimental science, founded on approximations 
and corroborated by exact measurement with improved 
inatniments. We have ah^ady aeen how he stopped 
short at the subjective origin of the connection of cauag 
, and effect. In both of theee points, and in many othc 
therewith connected, Kant sought to complete and cffi 
rect him. Far from admitting tliat apace, cause, su] 
stance, &c, first came into existence when loflectiq 
supervened upon an original apprehension of single < 
isolated objects, — that they resulted by meaatiremen 
observation, and abstraction, — Kant mainlined that t^ 
very perception of single objects — that objectivity, as M 
understand it, — is only possible on the assumption thi 
the mere sensation is arrested, Telated, and organi 
|by these and other primary conceptions. So deal 
of we knew things in themselves, independent of c 
JBciousnesB, it would be beyond us ever to aflirm co) 
Biection between them, except in our thoughts ah< 
/them. But as the only things we know are in t 
/mind {not in the brain), then correlation between thq 
is the normal condition of things ; it is, in fact, by tl 
reciprocal correlation that they are members in the sa 
objective universe. Instead of unity between the locti-l 
vidual members of the universe being the last stage, i$'l 
is the very first — from the beginning — a priori. 
I perience only exemplifies it in tJiia and that i 
I And the thinker, reflecting upon his experience, c 

1'to discover that what he calls his mind is a natiq 
faculty of forms, by which ho ia in a special i 
constituted or organised, and that all his knowledf 
presupposes the existence and operation of these foni 
Whatever variety may bo introduced by sensation, hoi^ 

A Copernicus of the Mind, 155 

ever complex and peculiar the elementary constituents j 
which awake to consciousness, there are laws, forms, j 
relations, which are always essential to make these ele- 1 
ments parts of our world of experience. And the sys- 1 
tematic analysis of this structural framework is what/ 
Kant sought to accomplisL Locke had been the phy- 
siologist of the human mind : he had expounded the 
history of the normal processes in the mental life. 
Hume had been one of those geographers of human 
reason who were content to discover certain regions 
which unquestionably lay beyond its boundaries. Kant, 
as against Locke, claimed to be the anatomist who traced 
the nature and interdependence of the organs by which 
the acquisition of ideas was made feasible ; and, as 
against Hume, he claimed to lay down on principle 
the radius of the circle of human knowledge. 

Two centuries and a half before his time, Copernicus 
(whose cell at Frauenburg on the Frisches Haff makes 
him a neighbour of Kant) had restored to the sun that 
central rank in our system from which traditional astro- 
nomy had long ousted it. Kant looked upon himself as 
a Copernicus of mind. Whereas the things we know 
had erewhile been supposed to rest in independent sub- 
sistence with minds here and there surveying them in| 
the revolutions of thought, he suggested that the generi( 
(or transcendental) consciousness of man was the ceni 
sun of knowledge, by whose light and attractions th( 
elements of feeling were raised into form and systei 
He made human knowledge anthropocentric, with nor^ 
mal humanity at the centre. 




The philosophy of Kant is, in all essentials, but with 
disproportion of parts, contained in the one work — * The 
Criticism of Pure Eeason.' The two subsequent * Criti- 
cisms ' — that of the ' Practical Eeason ' and that of the 
* Judgment' — are modelled, perhaps too closely, on its 
lines, but introduce some modifications which throw a 
reflected light upon the original work. The * Criticism 
of Pure Reason ' itself divides into a constructive and a 
critical portion ; and it is especially with the topics of the 
latter that the two subsequent criticisms are concerned. 
For many purposes it is possible to restrict the study of 
Kantian philosophy to the first portion, dealing with the 
analysis of knowledge or the theory of experience. For 
some purposes it is convenient to read the philosophy of 
Kant by the light of the first criticism alone. But the 
true perspective of the system can scarcely be gained 
unless we combine the insights derivable from the 
points of view successively given by the three criticisms. 
Preliminary to the * Criticism' itself is the sketch 
contained in the Dissertation of 1770. The ground- 
work of the whole subsequent system is to be found 

DiffkuUies of tlie ^Kritik! 157 

here — the doctrine, namely, that space and time are 
qualities or conditions of our sensuous apprehension, 
and have no meaning for the objects of pure intellect 
But the chief corollary drawn from this doctrine is a 
warning against assuming that a statement in which 
conditions of time and space are introduced can ever 
be held to be a truth about things in themselves. Al- 
most nothing is said of the action of intellect in the for- 
mation of experienca The * Criticism' itself appeared 
in two editions, and there are considerable differences 
between the two. But the claims (by Schopenhauer 
and others) of superiority for the earliest are exag- 
gerated. Substantially the two editions vary but little. 
Headers familiar with the first were naturally disap- 
pointed when they found one long passage — the " De- 
duction of the Categories " — completely rearranged and 
rewritten ; a great excision made in the discussion of the 
" Soul ; " and several modifications made in the doctrine 
of substance and reality. In some cases the alterations 
are improvements ; in others they only accentuate weak 
points of the system. On the whole, it might be wished 
that Kant had left the work to stand in its original 
f onn. But there is no foundation in such changes for 
the charge that he sought to dissimulate or to retract his 

Unfortunately there are other and graver difficulties 
in the way of an attempt to put Kant together. As he 
has himself said in the chapter on the " Architectonics 
of Pure Reason : " " It is unfortunate that it is only after 
we have for a long time, under the direction of an idea 
lying concealed in us, collected our materials unsystem- 
atically in the shape of pertinent pieces of knowledge. 

158 Kant. 

— ay, only after wo Lave again and again contrived com 
binations of these pieces, — that it becomes possible 
US to discern the idea in clearer light, and to skehj 
out a whole architectonically by aims of reason." In i 
work so gmnd, muHifarioufi, and su^estive, inelndin| 
in one sweep all the branches of philosophy, it nee 
an eagle eye to follow his flight Kant is often so t 
grossed with the details of hta aipiment that he ha 
eyes for nothing beyond; his arguments have regan 
to that point alone wliich ho is immediately discnseing 
It is easy, therefore, to represent him as inconsisten 
with himself. There are some statements, for exampl< 
which are hard to reconcile when the ' Prolegomena ti 
every future Metaphysic ' is compared with the ' Criticim 
of Pure Reason.' When we remember that his | 
work was written in his fifty-seventh year, we t 
that with increasing old age it became more and mor 
difficult to keep in view all the complex issues of 1 

The same considerations may serve to condone t 
style, both logico] and literary, of the three works. 
correspondent of Goethe tells of a visit which Wloma 
Kant's college friend, paid to the old man in EonigQ 
berg. Asked by the professor whether he found tiro 
to look into his books, 'WliimeT replied that he did a 
with much pleasure, were it not for the want of fingers 
and when questioned as to the meaning of this e.xcu8« 
explained that there were so many clauses of stipul* 
tion and (jualification in a Kantian sentence, that i 
was impossible to find one's way through the labyrinlJl 
unless by keeping a finger on ea,i:h clause — which thefi 
jiiiiober rendered impracticable. But the i 

''- 'Transcendentalism/ 159 

tion of literary, style, thus somewhat apocryphally chroni- 
cled, is not the worst fault in these works. The logical 
arrangement of the ethical treatises (' Foundation of the 
Metaphysic of Ethic* and * Criticism of Practical Eeason') 
is defective in the extreme. It seems often as if several 
attempts to express the same thought had been put 
down one after the other without any effort to fuse the 
several redactions into continuity. And in the 'Criti- 
cism of Judgment' the reiteration becomes especially 
marked. A further difficulty is the technical nomen- 
clature with which the works bristle. Distinction after 
distinction is made and invested with a name. Words 
receive new significations. The terms transcendental, 
aprioriy schematism, idea, categorical imperative, typicj^ 
of practical judgment^ exercise a deterrent effect upon 
the reader. There is a great parade of logical subdivi- 
sion, and yet a great abruptness often to be felt in the 
succession of paragraphs. It is only gradually and with 
labour that one can shake off the feeling of drowsiness 
induced by the multiplicity of currents which murmur 
here and there over the rocky ground : only after several 
attempts that one is able to grasp the general drift and 
direction of the stream. 

Kant's philosophy describes itself as transcendental- 
ism. The word causes a shudder, and suggests things 
unutterable. Not less terrible is the term a priori. But 
in either case a little courage carries the student safely 
past these lions in the way. He must first of all dismiss 
the popular associations that cling to the words. A 
transcendental inquiry, then, is an inquiry not into things 
in general, or any particular sort of things, but into the 
conditions in the mental constitution which make us 


160 Kant. 

know or estimate things in the way we da It seeks to 
present the fundamental features of mental action which 
are operative in generating the product known as the 
world of knowledge. These fundamental featmes, dis- 
XM)vered by an analysis of mind regarded simply as the 
/organ of knowledge, are what Kant terms a priori. 
j Evidently they are no innate ideas. But they are pre- 
1 suppositions without which knowledge is impossible 
Further, they have always a bearing towards experience, 
and concrete knowledge of facts : they are always on the 
outlook, as it were, for an a posteriori^ in which alone 
they are actually and, so to speak, tangibly embodied. 
To sift out these conditions, to discover the element 
logically antecedent to experience, and which renders 
experience itself possible, — to find out the fundamental 
spirit of imification which is the progenitor of all the 
several unifications of sense-impressions which makd up 
our experience, — this is the work of Kant's criticism. 
But as criticism it accomplishes the task in a partial way. 
The aim of the work, as a criticism, is to point out how 
these conditions, inherent in the very act of knowing, 
impose a limit upon its application. Only so far, there- 
fore, as is needed in order to show the necessary restric- 
tions of science does Kant enter upon the analysis of its 
elementary laws. Yet he himself believed that he had 
so far demarcated the main outlines of the a priori^ that 
only a little more labour, with the help of a metaphy- 
sical text-book, was needed to expand the criticism into 
a complete transcendental philosophy. 
/ The process of knowledge is assigned by Kant^ in the 
/ first instance, to the action of two factors — ^the senses 
I and the understanding. By the former, it is said, ob- 

Analysis of Sensation, 161 

jects are given us ; by the latter they are thoiLght In 
other words, the starting-point of knowledge is sensa- 
tion: sensations are the daia^ and the indispensable 
data. In sensations we have knowledge, and the object 
of knowledge, in their utterly rudimentary or embryonic 
stage. Such an entity exists in consciousness alone: 
sensations presuppose a sentient being. Whether, when 
they are described as "impressions," they do not involve 
a reference to a cause outside us, is a further question. 
For the present we need only consider that the thing 
with which we start, if thing it can yet be called, is 
a sensation. In sense all knowledge begins : without 
such a starting-point there can be, at least for human 
beings, no such product as knowledge. We are so con- 
stituted, it may be said, that certain waves, as it were, 
pass over the surface of our representative faculty : and 
these modifications of mental state are the furthest 
rejdity to which we can carry our knowledge back. 

The theory which expounds the character of the sense-' 
process, so far as it is a factor in experience, is styledj 
by Kant transcendental cesthetics (aesthetics being used\ 
in its literal acceptation, and not, as was and is com-' 
mon, to denote the doctrine of taste). It lays down 
that Space and Time are the very essence and primary 
condition of sense-perception. They are not so much 
forms of sense ; rather sense-perception, in its generic 
subjective aspect, means these forms. Whatever be 
the special material, so to speak, of the affection of our 
consciousness, the fact of sensuous consciousness gener- : 
ically implies " timeing " and " spaceing ; " or, in another 
(and looser) phraseology, the process of translating an 
organic impression into consciousness has always as per- 

p. — ^v. L 


manont featnree the correlation of ita contents ii 

I and tim& Thus time and space are the format charactei 
of BenBe-perception ; and as sensation is the begini 
and indiBptiusable basis of knowledge, all our knoieledg 
is bound up with conditions of space and time. 
Kant's contention is that space and time have n' 
lETtence save as inseparable cliaracteristice of huma 
consciousness, as a sentient consciousness- 
nese, i.e., which finds itself modified in 
and does not have knowledge except ae modified ; wMc 
does not make its own objects, but receives them aa m 
material to be fashioned — " to receive a local habitalioi 
and a name." 

The indispensable function of these forms in produ^ 
ing a knowledge of objects serves to Eant to explaii 
how pure mathematics can have an objective applicatiCB 
in experience. It is by the elaboration of this for 
clement that mathematics is produced. And as 
formal element serves to constitute the very rudiment 
of our conception of things, so whatever can be foui 
out by bringing this element into active developmen 
will have an objective value. According to Kant, e 
I matliematical truth is a, synthetical judgment — a judj 
/ ment, i.e., where the predicate adds something new t 
I the subject Thus, he saya, 7 + 5 = 12, is a synthetics 
judgment Of course Kant was not unawaie that to 
person who fully understood wliat 7, 5, and 12 sever 
are, the judgment is either analytical or more propel 
the exjiression of an identity (its form being on eqU| 
1 tiu:k). What he meant was, that as seven expreasee^ 
layntheais of elements, so the addition of seven to fil 
I ^implies a further stretch of the same act of conjunct: 

S^foee and Tlmt. 163 

iBsuing in the production of the number twelve. The 
conditions of numbeiing are given in the homogeneous] 
forms (space and time), but the numbers have to boj 
made by fixing and ooigoining the elements. 
' Synthesis or unification, however, in any shape, can* 
not stiictiy be said to belong to sense. Space aiul 
time afford the possibility of unity ; they fonn the wnrp 
of experience, as it were, across which the shuttle of 
thought continually throws its woof and constnicta 
the web of objective knowledge. They have a poten- 
tial infinitude, coextensive with all the exercises of 
intellect in ua And thus, though at each perco])tion 
we have only a limited space and time, still tlio forms 
homogeneously accompany our every act, and serve as 
the basis of conjimction between sensation and senaa* 
tion. They are continuous wholes : where one part 
ends another begins: there is no gap. Thus these 
forms, as the sensuous aspect of consciousness, are nil- 
embracing ; nothing can possibly escape their meshes or 
lie beyond their grasp, so far as our knowledgcj is con- 
cerned. A world of three-dimensioned space and ono- 
dimensioned time, — such is the one world of human 
experience. There may be, of course, worlds of four- 
dimensioned space, but their existence is an everlasting 
may-be: we can never, as now constituted, crnne to 
know them. 

On this theory there is much to say ; iKjrhajw two nj- 
maiks may suffice. The first is, that to mt the ideality 
of time and space in the front of- the do<;trim5 in a gr<;at 
otamUing-block. It may be said tliat^ bh in ay'ifhiui 
iwoBL the Bisserfcation of 1770, it was the jK^int which 
iini rtnick Kant on examining the con/liiioia '4 

164 KavJt, 

knowledge But it has the defect of presenting as a 
theory of sense what can hardly be understood without 
treating sense as a partner of intellect It is only by 
the application of intellect that mathematical science 
comes into existence. Space and time only afford the 
possibility for a comprehensive co-ordination of sense- 
elements : they are, as it were, the chemically prepared 
plate of the photographer, on which the concentrated 
rays of intellect, or rather the sunlight of experience 
itself, draw out the implicit relations into distinct out- 
lines of quantity, at once continuous and discrete. This 
Kant himself shows ; and it is almost beyond the power 
of abstraction to look at the action of sense alone. 
What he is anxious to insist on is, that there is in the 
mind something which forms the homogeneous and uni- 
versal factor of all perception; and secondly, that the 
truths of the science which deals with that factor of 
experience must have application to reality. 

The second point is the contrast between this ideal- 
ism and others more familiar to Englishmen. J. S. 
Mill, for example, agrees with Kant in regarding sensa- 
tions as the basis of scientific reality. " Sensations or 
other feelings being given," he says, " succession and 
simultaneousness are' the two conditions, to the alterna- 
tive of which they are subjected by the nature of our 
faculties ; and no one has been able or needs expect to 
analyse the matter any further." He treats, in short, 
succession and simultaneousness as a jpriori forms of 
sense-perception. But with Kant space holds from the 
first a position of parallel rank with time : the one is the 
form of outer, the other of inner sense. To psychologi- 
cal idealists like Mill, space (or externality) is a later and 

jl%e FuncHon of Thought 165 

derivative development^ due to special acts of sense or 
organic motion. To the transcendental idealism of Kantj 
on the contrary, space is a characteristic of sentient conA 
sciousness no less original and primary than time. Every ) 
state of feeling is only part of consciousness because itf 
is either localised or timed. Hence Kant's indignation 
at being confused with the common herd of idealists. 
To him an external, or at least a spatial, world, is as 
much a primitive datum as the world of sequent sensa- 
tions and feelings — ^both, of course, existing in human 

The action of intellect or imderstanding comes in to 
supplement that of sense. And that action is synthesis 
or correlation. A mere sensation would be a mere 
isolated reaction or occurrence in consciousnesa It 
would be a mere instant of feeling ; and though we may 
suppose a hundred such instants, each is alone and 
blindly self-centred. Sentient life, if we keep the imi- 
fying vehicle of consciousness out of view, would be a 
mere series of pulses, each pulse being imaware of the 
others. In Kant's words, perceptions without concep- 
tions are blind. The spark of fire which runs along the 
line of sensations and sets them in a blaze ; the string 
which gathers the single beads into a necklace; the 
glass which collects the beams of sentient life into one 
focus, — ^is what we call intellect Synthetic unity is^ 
the one function of thought — the one architectonic 
which lays sense-brick to sense-brick, and builds 
house of knowledge. 

It is the business of the Transcendental Analytic (or 
metaphysics of inductive logic) to exhibit the special 
forms in which this general intellectual act of synthesis \ 

unity is/ 
)nic ideal 
lilds the\ 

166 ICant. 

or correlation is exercised, and to show how the worlc i 

tmificatioir is accomptished, as it miiBt he, under t 

conditions of sense. Transcendental logic (as distiii 

guished from formal or general logic, which expound 

tile laws of thought applicable to all classes of object] 

whatsoever) expounds the nature of human though' 

(ideal or mental organisation) so far as it is applied t 

constitute a knowledge of things, and has accordingly fa 

show how mere or pure thought can ever enter into t 

formation of objective fact. It thus falls into two parta 

/ the first — called the Analytic of Conceptions — is a a 

I ficatory statement of the ultimate forms to which thd 

li correlating force may be reduceil; and the second— 

r called the Analytic of Principles — exhibits these ele 

' ments of unification in their sensuous and concrete'' 

1 forma, as synthesea in the element of sense itself. 

With the discovery of the several speciee 

of the synthetic act, Kant does not give himself mucU 

trouble. His special aim lies in showing that to ( 

knowledge they must be incorporated with the ser 

! forms. Impressed as he was with the general perfection 
of logical science (not loss than ivith the current psycho^ 
logical distinctions), and regarding judgment, as we h 
seen (p. 124), as the cardinal operation of intellect, 
he believed that the various modes which the logician! 
had assigned to the unity of predicate with suhject b 
proposition would be found to supply a classification oi 
tlie modes in which understanding unifies the unooa 
nected elements of sense. Thus, at any rate, the troubfa 
^of a laborious analysis was saved. Logicians bam 
I established a conventional classification of juc^mentl 
linto judgments of Quantity, Quality, Eelation, xai 

The * Categories! 167 

Modality. That is to say, in the first class of judgments 
the point emphasised is the numerical extent to which 
the predicate is applicable to the subject ; in the second, 
whether it belongs to it in any way or not at all ; in the 
third, whether the assertion is made off-hand or with a 
condition and an option; in the fourth, whether the 
proposition is asserted, merely suggested, or authorita- 
tively imposed. The distinctions in themselves are of 
dubious value,— often untenabla But Kant accepts 
them gratefully, and even goes on, by introducing modi- 
fications into the current theory, to get an array of 
twelve forms of judgment— each primary form being 
strained to supply three sub-species. 

Precisely in the same forms as judgment combines its 
terms, does thought combine the elements of sense into 
a conception of an object. Thus the abstract forms 
under which this synthesis takes place, the twelve 
species of intellectual relation or unification, are the 
twelve Categories (as Kant calls them, by a misuse 
of an Aristotelian term) of the following list: — 

Quantity. Qoality. Relation. Modality. 

1. Unity. 4. Reality. 7. Substance and 10. Possibility— 

2. Plurality. 5. Negation. Accident. Impossibility. 

3. Totality. 6. Limitation. 8. Cause and Ef- 11. Existence — 

feet. Non-existence. 

9. Action and 12. Necessity— 
Reaction. Contingency. 

But what right have these forms, so plainly mental, 
to become a part of the objective world? How can 
mere modes of mental action transmute the flux of sen- 
sation into permanent and objective conceptions 1 The 
gwmAa^ exhibition of the grounds for the claims 
made on behalf of these forms to be treated as formative 


I elements in reitl knowledge, is known In the Kaxid; 
terminology aa the Deduction of the Categarie& 
one of the hardest parte of the hook, differing coi 
Biderably in the two editions of the 'Critique:' 
elsewhere it is deacrihed aa comparatively unimportantj 
We may simplify the coneideration of the Dedacficd) 
if we remember that it is no proof in the logical a 
I of the term. Like every so-called " transcendental "l 
/ argument, it simply aims at showing that these catfr 
I gories are presupposed in the very existence of exp« 
ence : that our ordinary knowledge involves element 
which, upon an exhaustive analysis, would be found U 
he identical with the categoriea. We have here, as with 1 
the forma of sense, only to show that this branch of &a t 
a priori {i.e., the radical types of tntellectufl] syntheais^^l 
is another condition without which experience would Yi 

If we turn to eaperieoce and consider what happen 
when we perceive an object, we find that it presupposai 
acts of synthesis at several stages. First of all, " 
nmst run over the several points in the object, and a 
bine them in the one act by which we apprehend i 
Next, if we are to form a real unity out of tliese Taiiool 
points, we must be able to retain and reproduc 
preceding, and combine them in imagination with tluMI 
which follow. Thirdly, we must have a name, e 
ing a conception, at hand, by which we recogniae in tl 
aggregation correspondence with a given type or rd 
It is clearly the conception as embodied in a word whio] 
governs otu^ imagination in the reduction of the varioi) 
data of sense to a unity. ^The name serves s 
or law to guide the synthesis of imagination, and Ha 

The Unity of Mind, 169 

ultimately tells us what our observation is to embrace. 
To these three aspects of unification, Kant gives the 
names respectively of syntJiesis of apprehension in sense^ 
of reprodttction in imagination^ and of recognition in the 

Something like this takes place in the process, not of 
perceiving (i.e., knowing) some particular object^ but of 
perceiving an object at alL In order to rise from a mere 
sensation to a perception of objective existence, there 
must also be a synthesis — and, indeed, a triple synthesis. 
Here, however, we look not at mental faculties as they 
)work in experience, but in their underlying generic or 
^transcendental conditions. Those generic conditions 
which create unity in sense — the forms of space and 
time — ^have been already discussed. But the second , 
faculty, the imagination^ has also a transcendental 
aspect This " blind but indispensable function of the 
soul," regarded as a generi^and fimdamental feature of i 
mind, produces totals out of the elementary forms of ! 
sense : builds up geometrical figures, creates number out . 
of units, and establishes links between the various \ 
points of time. Such an operation is the very secret ' 
art of mind: always weaving its web, producing new 
conjunctions, and not merely reproducing conjunctions 
already made. But this dynamical unification carries us 
back to a statical unity, the '* standing and abiding ego " 
— ^in other words, to the third and primary synthesis, 
the " original synthetic unity of apperception," or " tran- 
scendental imity of apperception." Under these alarming 
names lies concealed the vulgar fact that intelligence 
means to have or to exert a consciousness which is one 
and the same basis for all conscious states. Apperceg;-^ 


170 ^ant. 

(tion is a word used to Bignify that when a new percep- 
tion or new fact ia acijuired, it is not merely oddejl to, 
but is fnsed into harmony with, the ah^ody esistinj! 
furniture of mind. And the original or Iranee^ndenial 

I apperception ia simply mind or consciousness generically 
regarded, aa such a process of grouping and unifying 

I the group. Thus the final ground which eerves to unify 
the elements occurring in sense-perception la the unity 
of consciousness, — and that not a passive receptacle, but 
an active reference of one element to another, and the 
further unification of the particulars by a synthetic act, 
The " I think " which silently accompanies and animates ' 
each state of conacioua life, confronts every fresh item ■ 
of experience which we gather with the ac 
store of past knowledge. 

The "Deduction of the cat^ories" thus consists i 
showing that experience presupposes a formal unity of] 

' consciousnees, and that the categories espress the i 

I special rules under which this generic unity presents ] 
itself to guide transcendental imagination. Thus wheE 
we ask, 'What gives ol^'ectivity to our eensationflfl 
what translates sensations into objects 1 tl 
is, Correlation in one or other of those aspects knowi 
as categories. " Thoroughgoing and synthetic i 
of perceptions is precisely what constitutes the fora 
of experience." On these regular lines, known i 
the categories, the various and unconnected modifies 
tions of consciousness form into permanent group« 
But the categories are e.=isentially forma or f nnctiona o 
human thought ; and thus the lines on which sensation 
settle down into vmitiea, ordere, sequences, identitietj 
are imposed from the intellect The natural worldy 

C(Hyperation of Sense and Thought. 171 

wliich we know — and as we know it — is founded on 
sensations, and regulated by general laws or principles 
derived from human intellect Thus Kant supplements 
the doctrine of Mill — ^that " a body is a set of sensations, 
or rather of possibilities of sensation, joined together 
according to a fixed law," by adding that the funda- 
mental law is a mental fact no less than the sensation, 
- — ^that connection is but another word for mind. 

Kant began his investigation by assuming a thorough | 
separation between the senses and the intellect Grad- i 
ually, however, he has been driven to relax the rigour off 
his antithesis, and seek some common ground for faculties 
so heterogeneou& How can pure thought and pure sense 
be brought into contact 1 The problem is solved by the 
introduction of the transcendental schema. The sensej 
and^ e intellect meet in the faculty of judgment Such, 
at least, is Kant's way of putting the metamorphosis. In 
reality he simply reverts from the pure understanding to 
the imagination or pictorial intellect Our real thinking i 'jf 
in science and experience is always pictorial — it is tinged/ 
with imagination: not abstract thought, but thought 
coloured by the laws of sense. As cognitive beings, 
our essential character is to be a sensuous intellect, or 
an intellectual sense. Our intellect is partly passive 
and partly active ; and it is only in the ground where 
both aspects meet, that knowledge, strictly so called, is 

The pure or abstract categories have their home in 
logic — ^in the field of judgment There the power of 
synthesis is seen in its abstract and disembodied purity, 
and the copula or synthetic tie can be disentangled by 
abstraction, guided to some extent by the indications 

172 ^a7U. ^^^H 

of languaga But in real thought, applied to olqecuV 
of Benee, the abstract relation is always preseuted Geini* ■ 
aenauously. Instead of the categories, we get the «cAe- I 
tmata- — the figurations in which the categories actually \ 
Iplay their part in constructing experience, or the Ehapea J 
[in which sonaations issue trom the Buhjectivity of feel- I 
ling, and appear in nature as articulate stnicture& J 

Thus, as the generic activity of cognitive thought qfl 
/that of relating the data of sensation, it must further bal 
/ noted that all relations in human consciouaneas (as organ ' 
i of knowledge) ore coloured by a peculiar vehicle : this 
\ vehicle ia time. In knowletlge, therefore, the abstract 
relations of human thought are always invested with a 
garment of time. We can only correlate sensations so 
far as we have space and time available to give the 
mental act a Buhstantial and discernible reality, 
secret art in the depths of the human soul " translate 
the intangible conception into a schema — a sort of gei 
eralieed image, a universal which is withal sensuoua 
not so much a picture itself, as a general formula c 
recipe for drawing pictures. Thought, in shorty worb 
under conditions of time. The schemata n 
ing principles to which the categories, and the b 
category, "I think," supply the secret power. Thus, j 
I we apply quantity to phenomena, we use the schenu 
' number, and number is the active generation in t 
' of unit after unit, SimOarly the category of reality! 
I replaced by the degree (also measured by number) t 
[which sensation intensively till" time. Substance is r^ 
placed by the schema of the persistent in time; 
cause and effect are respectively equivalent to regula 
antecedent and regular consequent 

First Principles of Science, 173 

The schemata, then, are the true scientific categories. 
They are, in Kant's words, " the true and only con- 
ditions for securing to the categories a bearing upon 
objects — of giving them, in short, import and meaning." 
Leave out the sensuous condition, which is the pheno- 
menal envelope of the category, and it shrivels into a 
mere logical form without objective reality — a mere 
function by which thought conrelates two conceptions 
in a proposition. Substance, unless when sensually pre- 
sented as what persists in change, can only mean a 
possible subject for a logical judgment Eeality, if 
it is to have phenomenal or scientific value, must de- 
note the degree of intensity with which any sensation 
occupies consciousness. Universality and necessity, for 
our human experience, resolve themselves into what is 
at all times and all places foimd — qiLod semper, quod 
ubique. Thus the significance of the categories for ) 
scientific knowledge comes from the senses, which, while / 
they tie down the intellect to a sensuous form, at the 
same time clothe it in reality. 

But it is not merely in the form of time that the 
categories are realised : even the forms of time and 
space themselves are but fictions of the mind, ghostly 
schemata^ unless as they look forward to an embodiment 
in actual experience with actual sensations. It is be- 
cause they are destined to be the laws of a natural world 
that our a priori elements of sense and thought possess 
objectivity. Their objectivity lies in their consensus as 
constituents of the whole of experience. 

Following the clue given by the categories, Kant/ 
expounds the metaphysical principles of science tmder/ 
four heads; but the order thus obtained is somewhat' 



strained and formal, while the names by M'liich th^ 
designateii are open to a charge of pedantry, 
come under two groupa the principles by which 
maticB holds a governing place in the body of 
[The azwms of perception unite in the general princij 
I that an object of perception can only be apprehended 
Jthe conjunction of parts to parts; that it is always 
I recognisable as an aggregate or extensive magnitude. 
The anticipations of gensatiojt, in the second place, are 
based upon the view that every sensation, or conscious 
state considered as an amount of feeling, though it has 
no parts out of parts, has nevertheless intensive mag- 
nitude or degree. In other words, the quantity and 
quality which we find in science are alike based upon 
mathematical elements, — in the one case, elements which 
can be placed side by side as mere juxtapositions ; in tl 
other, elements which appear as degrees of quality. Bi 
every object of perception and sensation, physical i 
psychical, has a numerable constitution. Heat, e.f 
conforms to the anticipation of sensation — the atm I 
the axiom of perception. 

The third class of scientific principles, the ataUogi 
of experience, carries us from mathematical to physio 
or dynamical science, — from the consideratioa of it 
internal structure of objects as either sumavor multipli 
of simple elements, to the consideration of their ord) 
and relations in the complexity of actual exiat«DC 
These principles are termed analogies by reference 
the relations of thought (e.g., that of antecedent ai 
consequent in the hypothetical judgment). Aa ti 
logical antecedent to the logical consequent, so analo{ 
caiiy in our experience does the physical cause etai 

Substance and CausalUy. 175 

o the plkical effect But it is only an analogy and 
lot an iHitity; they are like, but by no means the 
same. Gh general description of the function of these 
uialogieB 3 that " all phenomena, in the matter of their 
Bxistence, «iid, and cannot but stand, under rules 
which goYA their relations to one another in a unity 
of time.'' I^se rules of order in time, considered as a 
unity, which gin^em experience of the actual world, are 
discussed unde\ the three relationships of substance 
and attribute, ca^e and effect, action and reaction. 

And first of Subetance. When we speak of substance 
we mean only whait persists or abides in time, and w 
contrast the permanent with the changes of its phases. 
But the substance is not a separate thing over and abov 
its modes or manifestations. It is simply that chang 
or alteration cannot be understood except in reference to 
something permanent. It is easy, then, to say that 
substance is a fiction of thought : Kant's reply to that 
charge is, that to treat successive sensations as having 
one source common to them (what we must constantly 
do in our experience), implies as a ground of its possi- 
bility an identity or persistency in the consciousness 
which serves as the common vehicle of the successive 
feelings. Unless thought supplied this persistent^ per- 
manent background, it would be impossible for us to 
realise the relations in time known as succession and 

In Causality, which is the second of these analogies, 
we achrance from the point of view that all alteration is 
relative to a permanent, to the further rule that every^ 
event, every change which has come into being, i 
connected with, or follows after, another event, Thfe 


sequence of Bensations may of conrae Im a ir 
in our way of perception. But if the sncce 
two phenomena in oonsciousnesa ia treated i 
cliaace in my way of apprehending them, 1 
BBsaion of the phenomena themselves, — if l^e succt 
kn short ia objective, not subjective mercyf, there 
Ibe something in the antecedent which ref.nlatea thi 
Iceasion of the consequent. To regard oay event i 
objective occurrence, we must always presume that it ii 
preceded by something on which it regularly follow* 
[Such, then, is the principle of causality: every evanj 
mas its cause, something on which it follows by rule and 
■jlaw. And its justification is, that without it objeotiVl 
^reality ia inconceivable i that experience (which is U 
accepted fact) depends on a fixity in the order of tinui 
Thus temporal sequence and antecedence as fixed Iq 
I rules is the aspect under which the logical relation q 
I ground and consequent appears in science. 

What the second analogy does for succession in tiEM 

Kthe third does for simultaneity, Objective simultaneilj 

■ or coexistence of things is only conceivable on the n 

I sumption that these things (the permanent substrata 

which we must employ to construct our experientiti 

image of the world) are in thoroughgoing eommunity-i 

act and react upon each other. Oui only ground £m 

treating any two phenomena as really simultaneous iq 

that the one is connected with and dependent upon tin 

other J that A is the cause of B'b manifestations, and I 

the cause of A'a. Thus the world of experience, wiflS 

its things possessing difleront powers and qualities, U| 

I regular sequences and coexistences, requires ua to admit 

I. ail intellectual law by which the serial sensations an 

To Knowledge without the Senses. 177 

grouped md unified by reference to permanent causes, 
each phfle of phenomena treated as unconditionally de- 
pendent kfi something in the anterior phase, and all the 
elements coexisting in one phase or aspect as in recipro- 
cal inteidi^endenca 

The populates of experiential thought^ which are 
the fourth fAd last class of synthetical principles, explain 
the use of thejberms possible, actual, and necessary, in the 
scientific and idealistic field. In that sense nothing is pos- 
sible except what conforms to the formal conditions of 
experience as expressed in the combination of perceptive 
and intellectual constituents. Only that is actual which 
is either directly or mediately in connection with the 
material element of experience — that is, with sensation. 
And lastly, an existence is said to be necessary in the 
sense that everything which occurs is regarded as de- 
termined by a cause which preceded it, and on which it 
must follow. Such is the restricted application of the 
three modal terms in the field of real knowledge. 

Under these four heads Kant marks off the bound- 
aries of human experience. He has first laid down the 
pure or abstract a priori of the senses and the under- 
standing : the formal elements of union contributed from 
either source — ^viz., the time and space forms of percep- 
tion and the categories or forms of conception. He hasj 
secondly, shown the mixed or concrete a priori in the^ 
four classes of scientific principles. It is thus apparent 
that^ as space and time are only realised as forms of 
experience by the action of thought, so the categories 
cannot be defined without condescending to conditions 
of sense. The two factors in knowledge respectively 
restrict and modify each other. Within the range of 

p. — V. -SL 



178 ^etKt. 

expenence the senses impose their IfTnitntfm^ npon the 
wide but yacant Icszna of poie thon^it^ and anj employ- 
ment of thoi^t apart from its modifieatkni b j sense is 
declared to be illpgftfTnate. We only kno-sr quantity 
'in the sensible shape of mrmber; and eaoaaiity in the 
sensible shape of seqaence. Bat though thus reatiicted 
within the province of knowledgej the cate^pones lemain 
claiming to extend their infioence beyond the range of 
the 8ense& It is true thai the peiceptiTe powers by 
which we come into contact with lealxtj aie limited to 
the senses ; we have no hi^er or inteUectual intuition, 
and theTefore there can be strictly for ns no noumena — 
no objects of spiritual yision. Tet noumena^ in a nega- 
tive sense, we may still admits We may stni allow, 
that IS, that though our knowledge is confined to phe- 
nomena (sensations), there are conceptions free to us of 
purely intellectual forms, and that there may be indica- 
tions in other parts of our nature of something tran- 
flcending the sense-world, and, though causal, not subject 
to conditions of time. 




Positive science — the classified record of the measure- 
ments and correlations of the phenomena of sense — does 
not satisfy the aspirations of human nature. As we have 
traced the constituent conditions of knowledge, we have 
seen its limits. At the outset, there is something given, 
not made — a material On one side of our nature we 
are receptive : we are so organised that certain waves, as 
it were, pass over our representative faculty ; we awake 
to certain modifications of consciousness. These sensa- 
tions are for Eant the primitive datum ior reality and 
objectivity of experience. To the popular view, they 
are due to the action of real things which we know to 
be outside us, and which by means of our bodily organ- 
ism produce in us certain feelings: our consciousness 
only minors an external reality. Kant^ on the contrary, 
believed himself to have shown that the so-called exter- 
nal world was a product of sensations as, for the human 
mind, shaped and grasped by generic capacities of senses 
perception and organising links of thought. Still, there- 
fore, the question remained as to this world suspende^l 
in the mid-air of consciousness, How are these ** appear- 

180 Kant 

ances " to be accounted for 1 What is the cause of our 
sensations? For Kant, clearly, the question was not 
within scientific competence. " Things in themselves," 
existing independently of consciousness, were for con- 
sciousness nothing. ' A material world which " causes " 
impressions on the thinking subject, and a thinking sub- 
ject itself which exerts or "causes" acts of thought, were 
both put out of court To get at them would require us 
to step out of consciousness at both ends, and to rise by 
some new power of knowledge above the very conditions 
on which our knowledge depends. \ 

And yet Kant's successors tried to get behind the cur- 
tain which, as he had said, was the picture. With Her- 
bart, they explained the appearances within conscious- 
ness as due to realities outside of consciousness — per- 
manent objective points which were decipherable from 
the somewhat distorted or displaced images of their rela- 
tions in consciousness. With Fichte and Schelling, on 
the other hand, they said that the modifications of con- 
sciousness which we invest with externality are really 
produced by mental agency — an agency which, before 
we awake to mundane and divided consciousness, has 
externalised the products formed by imagination before 
the rise of conscious life. Kant himself hardly discusses 
the question from these points of view. 

But another road leads to the same transcendent ques- 
tions — transcendent because they treat the forms of 
human thought not merely as logically antecedent to 
the products of experience, but because they apply these 
forms to problems where experience wants data. The 
power of thought in creating knowledge is limited to the 

!y unction of sense -matensl ArcLdst tha conditions of 

The Ideas of Pure Beasoning. 181 

sense-perception. But in itself thought is not so nar- 
rowed; it is conjunction and unification in the most 
universal and unlimited extent Besides it« real, it has 
an ideal function : in Kant's phraseology, besides Under- 
standing there is Eeasoning; besides conceptions (Se^y^;) 
there are ideas (Jdeen), All the forms of thought (the 
categories) are functions or aspects of one fundamental 
unity of consciousness; all the details of experience 
stand in mutual interconnection on the field of the 
" transcendental apperception.'' But this totality which 
is thus the implicit basis of all experience is never actu- 
ally present ; what we actually have at any given mo- 
ment is some one special synthesis, or large group of 
such syntheses, beyond which we feel that we can Htill 
go in thought It is this power of thought which always 
tends beyond any given synthesis of phenomenfly and, 
however far it may go, knows no rest short of abNolute 
completeness, which is termed Reasoning, Here in an 
ideal side of thought which is always unsatiMfietl by iho 
largest synthesis of materials, which can never Hfu^UwM 
in any amount or extension of so-called realities of 
knowledge. It is the inability to rest in finite, c^^ndi- 
tioned data; the craving for a reason which given a 
reason without requiring one — for a starting-point whi(;)i 
is not itself a consequence upon something tliat han gone 
before — for absolute spontaneity, necessity, originality, 
and finality. 

Such a tendency is reasoning when left to its own 
prompting, unchecked by the bridle of verification in 
experience. Now reasoning, according to the logicians, 
falls into three syllogistic forms— categorical, hypotheti- 
cal, and disjunctive: according as the pioceM traces 

182 Kant. 

lilionomenal attributea back to their ultimate substance, 
subsequent states to their antecedent conditions, and tlta 
separate members of a class up to their fundamental 
sourue. Kant, in like manner, asserts that iutelleut, 
when thus carrying the fragmentary and detailed results 
of human experience to their rational issues in a postu- 
lated totality, gives rise to three distinct Ideas. TlieM 
throe ideaa are the Soul, as the auporsenaiblo substance 
from which the phenomena of consciousness are deriv- 
ative manifestations ; the World, aa ultimate totalitjr of 
external phenomena ; ami God, as luiity and final spring 
of all the diversities of existence. 

The ideafl, strictly as ideal, have a legitimate and a 
neeessary pkco in human thought. They express the 
unlimited obligation which thought feels laid upon itself 
to unify the details of observation ; they iodicat* an an- 
ticipated and postulated convergence between the various 
lines indicated by observation, even though observation 
may show that the convergence will never visibly be 
reached ; or they are standards and model types towards 
which experience may, and indeed must, if she is true 
to the cause of truth, conceive herself bound to approsi- 
inato. Such is the function of ideas, as regulative ; they 
govern and direct the action of intellect in the effort to 
aystematiae and centralise knowledge. Our thought ia 
thus guided by its own threefold maxims of homogene- 
ity, specification, and continuity ; the first of which en- 
joins the unlimited reduction of special laws and forms 
to more general, the second demanda indefinite liberty to 
mark out distinctions, and the third insists upon gradual 
ud unbroken passage from species to species. Even the 
J concrete forma ol ttift \4.eoa ViB,\ft llvavt uaa. Th» 

CrUiciam of Metaphydca, 183 

idea of a supreme intelligence, as regulative of the uni- 
verse, serves as a clue to suggest the discovery of new 
relationships in the objects of nature. The idea of a 
soul serves to supply a principle of unity for our study 
of the mental phenomena; and the idea of the world 
serves to keep before us the way in which natural phe- 
nomena are always indicating an increasing unity and 

But the ideas naturally sink into another place in 
human knowledge. Instead of stimidating research, 
they become, as Eant once puts it, a cushion for the 
lazy intellect Instead of being the ever-unattainable 
goals of investigation, they play a part in founding the 
edifice of science. Ceasing to be regtdaUve of research, 
they come to be constitutive of a pretended knowledge. 
Instead, for example, of using the conception of a divine 
intelligence as a hint to look for adaptation in nature, 
we seek explanation of facts from the inscrutable decrees 
of divine wisdom. But " the appeal to supernatural in- 
fluences is the refuge of a sluggardly philosophy." 

Kant has spent what may seem to the modem reader 
a disproportionate amount of energy in examining the 
processes by which the intellect has come to persuade 
itself that in these ideas it has found objects of a higher 
order than sense-experience can show. He has traced 
with unsparing rigour the various forms of self-deception 
by which a priori reasoning plumes itself on having 
gained a fulcrum outside the sphere of experience, and 
discovered the true dependence of all phenomena in their 
vicissitudes from their uncaused source. As usual with 
him, the procedure is designated by names borrowed 
from the nomenclature of the logicians. In general, it 

8 andei the title Dialeetie — a to-anJ-fio of argument^ \ 
|,like the battle of Shetiff-muir, where 

" There's eome eaj that we wan, 
Some Bay that they wan, 
Some aay that nane wan at a', man," 

A few words muat briefly indicate the nature of this | 
(in the stricteat sense) ' Criticism of Pure Eeafloning" 

Kational F^iychology, with which he begins his trial '| 

of the pretenders to scientific Boveteignty, the paeudo- 

kinga of metaphysics, is an exposition of the CarteeiAn 

tcujiio ergo sum (consciousness evinces a personal Ego), i 

Its argument for the bouI, Kant styles a jMralogimn, 

Founding on the fact that every exercise of conscious 

ness rests upon a fundamental "I think," or l<^ca( 

unity, it translates this into the phrase that I am Uifl 

pemument subject of all my conscious states, and there- 

fore, it is inferred, the substance of which menta 

[ phenomena are phases. The virtual or logical unity 

ft-fionsciousnesB is translated into a real substiutum ot 

pmentol life. But the unity of mental life is not ideor, 

tical with a unit (a simple substance), which is the! 

source of that life ; consciousness as unihcation is nofi 

the same as one simple, persistent monad, numerically 

identical at the various periods of its existence, and' 

known by introspection with an intuitive certainty tta 

superior to the inferential character of our knowledgft 

I of the world outside. It is a false idealism, according 

■ to Kant, which assumes us to have direct contact with' 

Wiiie basis of mental reality, whilst for external reality 

we are restricted to dubious inference. TraneeendentaJ 

idBaJiem shows, on the coutiai^, tWt m^Uei and miad 

The SoiU and Freedom, 185 

are alike real as phenomena exhibited on the field of 
sensuous consciousness : alike beyond our knowledge, 
when beyond that field. The very category of sub- 
stance suggests materiality: it means persistency in 
time ; and mental phenomena are rather known as suc- 
cessive and transient The only link which holds them 
together is the thread of consciousness; and the con- 
tinuance of that thread we dare not assert scientifically 
to be possible in conditions (of a future Hfe) unknown 
to us. 

The reasoning which seeks to fix the cosmological con- 
ception of the world as a whole, in order to get a basis 
for general physical science, leads to what Kant calls 
the antinomies^ where every thesis by which intellect 
speaks as if it knew whereupon the foundations of the 
universe are fashioned, and who laid the measures thereof, 
is met by an antithesis. This "antithetic," inherent 
in any attempt to define the elements and beginnings of 
the whole of experience, is expounded under four heads. 
There are the two antinomies of speculative mathematics ; 
between the assertion that the world has a beginning in 
space and Umits in time, and the doctrine that it has 
none; between the statement that there are real un- 
compounded elements in nature, and the statement that 
absolute simplicity of monads is a fiction. As for such 
disputes about infinite or finite divisibility and exten- 
sion, both sides are equally in the wrong, — ^as their an- 
tagonists make dear. The third antinomy is in a differ^ 
ent position ; and with it we come upon the true crisis, 
the very watershed in Kantian thought, from which 
the streams descend towards opposite valleys. This 
antinomy lies between freedom and necessity. While 


the thesis maiiitains that everything occurs in confonnil 

to the rule of physical causality (which laya down tl 

every event liaa its antecedent), the antithtJsiB asee4 

I that there is such a thing as absolute s[iontaneity, i 

I power of making an entiiely fresh and original cob 

' mencement Kant meets the dispute by referring to U 

doctnne that the things of which we speak in ph}rsioi 

science (in nature) ate phenomena, and not things i 

themselves. To such by the very constitution of c 

Bciouaness the law of causation inevitably and withoi 

any exception (such as human actions) applies. £i 

if there be, aa there may perhaps turn out to be aon 

L reason for holding, realities not included in the phen 

I monal order, then to these supersensibles there is n 

I thing to prevent ua applying the view of freedom — th 

I here, at any rate, there is uncaused and original powi 

I of ooinmencement As to the fourth antinomy, it t 

I upon the question whether we can think in the w 

I anything absolutely necessary, or must regard everythin 

I Bs contingent upon something else. Evidently, it ; 

I only a shghtly altexed form of the third : and the i 

1 marks by which Kant solves the antithesis of the oi 

I ate applicable to the other. In other words, the idea 

I a self-existent and necessary being cannot find a jdace i 

the reahn of experience and of science ; but at the sao 

time there is nothing to prevent it coming in with tl 

establishment, by other means, of a auporsenaible woiAc 

The third idea of pure reasoning is God. Foundifi 

on the conception of an absolutely neceseaiy being, : 

I invests this conception with elements gathered from til 

I whole universe, whence all that is imperfect or contn 

I dictoiy has been eliminated, and thus creates the id( 

Fallacies of Natural Tkcolo'jy. 187 

ȣ a Being of absolute perfection and highest reality. 
Thiting into one harmonious image what has been col- 
acted from tiie various phenomena, where it exists dia- 
ributively and in part, we form what Kant calls the 
' Ideal of Pure Eeaaoning," a mere imagined unity of all 
hat is good and great ; and then, having attributed to 
)Ur ideal a substantial eidstence, vre take the further 
rtep of personifying it, and call it God. The arguments 
by which it is attempted to prove the real existence of 
thia ideal are of two species. There are, first, the argu- 
Oients of the deist, who takes the abstract and strictly 
rational ground of arguing that a Being who is endowed 
rith all realities must, by the very force of terms, exist, 
dae he would want the reality of existence ; and that as 
Biere must somewhere be an absolutely necessary being, 
that being must be a fountain of all reality. But " a 
jaan," says Kant, " is no more likely to increase hia 
knowledge by mere notions, than a mercliant to increase 
Ilis property, who trios to better his condition by affix- 
ing a few noughts to the balance of his account." As 
for the argnments of the theist, who takes the ground of 
Sxperionce and refers to the evidence of intelligent adap- 
lation in nature, though they must always be spoken of 
respectfully as the oldest and most natural attitude of 
the honest mind, they neither prove an absolutely in- 
finite and omnipotent governor, nor a creator, aa distinct 
[rom an architect of the world. Kant, in short, as he 
lid in 1 763, holds that the ontological or abstract meta- 
physical proof is the only rigorous one, and even it he 

Thus closing his review of the dogmas of the meta- 
)hyaicians, Kant may seem to say in substance, like 

Smollett's "Sofficient Exammer," "A fig foT reason; I I 
laugh at reason : give me ocular demonstration-" And I 
one thinks of the parallel which Heine drew between 1 
the philosopher and Robespierre. "First we 
both," says Heine, " tlie same inexotable, cutting -pro- 1 
saic, sober integrity. Sext we find in both the samel 
talent of mistrust, only that the one exercises it againrt I 
thoughts, and calls it criticism, while the other applie: 
it against men, and entitles it republican virtue, 
both, however, there shows itself in the highest degree J 
the type of petty tradesman : nature bod intended then 
to weigh out tea and sugar, but destiny decreed thaS 
they ahould weigh other things; and for the one iti 
placed a king, for the other a God, on the scale. . 
truth, had the citizens of Kouigsberg divined the full 1 
meaning of this subversive, world-bruising thou^t, thej I 
would have felt before that man a far more gruesome I 
awe than before an executioner, — an executioner who J 
puts only men to death ; but the good people f 
liim nothing but a professor of philosophy, and when h 
strolled past at the appointed hour, they gave him a 
courteous salute, and, it may be, set their watches by 

But this impression of Kant's work is misleading. 
Here, as before (p 120), his point is, that though it ia 
unquestionably necessary to be convinced of God's exist- 
ence, it is not BO necessary to demonstrate it Going 
even further than he did then, he shows that all si 
demonstrations are scientifically impossible and worth- 
less. On the great questions of metaphysics, — Immop 
tality, Freedom, God, — scientific knowledge is hi 
JJut this position cuta two ways. If we cannot provo 

Science and Bdigion. 189 

that the soiil is immaterial and immortal, that there is 
a power of absolute commencement in the real world, 
that there is a Grod, no more can we disprove these 
theses. The canons of scientific evidence justify us 
neither in accepting nor denying the ideas on which 
morality and religion repose. " Both parties to the dis- 
pute beat the air; they worry their own shadow; for 
they pass beyond nature to a region where their dog- 
matic grips find nothing to lay hold of. They fight at 
their ease ; the shadows which they hew in pieces grow 
together again in a moment, like the heroes in Wal- 
halla, to rejoice anew in bloodless battles." Metaphy- 
sics, if this be so, can no longer claim to be the founda- 
tion-fitone of religion and morality. But if she cannot 
be the Atlas who bears the moral heaven, she can fur- 
nish a magic defence. Around the ideas of religion she 
throws the bulwark of invisibility ; and the sword of the 
sceptic and the battering-ram of the materialist fall harm- 
less on vacuity. 




The analytic method of inquiry has its losses as well as 
its gains, Kant had begun by isolating theory from 
action : he had treated man as an exclusively cognitiye 
being. Even in examining the scientific side of human 
nature, he had drawn sharp lines between sense and 
intellect, and between understanding and reasoning, 
Without ignoring the common origin of the various 
faculties, he had left their radical unity to appear as an 
undesigned and remarkable coincidence. The faculties 
of the human mind, according to his phraseology, were 
three in number : a faculty of cognition ; one of appe- 
tite ; and a feeling of pleasure and pain — which, some- 
what unsymmetrically, he placed under the dominion 
of principles supplied by understanding, reasoning, and 
judgment. Amid the crowd of faculties with separate 
principles, issuing, again somewhat unsymmetrically, in 
the three domains of nature, morality, and art, the 
unity of human nature is apt to disappear. 

The gulf between theoretical and practical reasoning 
in Kant's philosophy — (the contrast between which, 
stamped on the * Criticism of Pure Reason * with a pro- 

Criticism of the Jvdgmmt, 191 

minence which shoiild keep it from being missed, is 
carried out into greater detail in the subsequent Criti- 
cisms) — is a palpable anomaly which has led to opposing 
estimates of his work. And yet it should be remem- 
bered that every philosophical system must bear in some 
measure the imprint of its author's individuality. Now, 
in Kant*s character, two features stand out especially 
luminous. The first and most radical is his strong faith 
in moral order, his conviction of the royal law of duty. 
Perhaps it first took root in his mind under the influ- 
ences of his early Christian training ; but it grew and 
strengthened, even when all enhancement from religious 
sanction had ceased to affect him. The second feature 
in his character was his scientific interest, his love of 
knowledge, his devotion to verified truth. In this 
latter capacity he had written the * Criticism of Pure 
Reasoning,' and liberated his soul from the incubus of a 
pretended science of the supernatural Yet the super- 
natural was not eradicated from his thoughts ; and his 
two remaining Criticisms are devoted to an examination 
of the evidence which moral law and artistic ideas fur- 
nish of its presence and operation in human life. 

The * Criticism of the Power of Judgment ' is a work 
full of many tautologies, reverting again and again to 
the same difficulties, stopping short in its analysis at the 
very point when truth seems in sight, and yet full of 
deep suggestions on its own peculiar topic, and throw- 
ing many luminous rays on the dark places of his general 
course of thought It deals with two topics, somewhat 
casually bound together, — (a) a Theory of Taste ; and 
(&) an Examination of the value of Teleology in Physical 
Science and in Moral Theology. In the first part, we 

192 Kant. 

have an analysis of the conditions involved in the attri- 
bution to natural objects of Beauty or Sublimity. Sug- 
gested to some extent by Burke's * Inquiry into the 
Origin of our Ideas on the Sublime and Beautiful ' (1756), 
and by Baumgarten's * jiEsthetica ' (1750-58), and influ- 
enced by Lessing and Mendelssohn, this analysis may 
be said to have laid the foundation for Germany of the 
philosophical study of jtEsthetics, and the Philosophy 
of Art Kant indeed goes but a little way : he barely 
touches the complicated questions of Art criticism 3 but 
by his distinction between the Beautiful and the Pleas- 
ant, and by his exposition of artistic genius, he raised 
the aesthetic problem to its proper leveL The second 
part of the Criticism, dealing with the idea of Design, 
serves to connect his theoretical and moral philosophy. 
It acquires special significance as suggesting the idea of 
an intellect, for which imiversal conceptions would not 
be mere abstractions connected but externally with the 
particulars, but would be a governing principle for the 
relations and constitution of the parts. 

^Nominally the work is a Criticism of the Judgment : 
more strictly, of the Reflective Judgment. By that 
qualification, Kant meant to exclude from discussions 
the judgments (such as are examined in the Logic books) 
which describe or analyse what a thing is, or state what 
class it belongs to. The reflective judgment, instead of 
stating what a thing is, or what qualities it has as an 
objective thing, rather looks at the relation between the 
mental reproduction of the object and the general con- 
stitution of the himian mind, particularly of the human 
powers of apprehension and comprehension. The predi- 
cate of such a judgment does not indicate a quality in 

The SMime and Beautiful. 193 

the thing, but primarily a relation between the act of 
apprehending it and the general conditions of human 
thought; though secondarily the epithet is transferred 
to the object which gives rise to the subjective con- 
ditions. Generally speaking, it may be said that on 
any occasion when the phenomena of the external world, 
either as they merely are apprehended by the senses, or 
as they are comprehended by the intellect, show them- 
selves in harmony with our subjective mental organisa- 
tion, the feeling of the unsought harmony is accompanied 
with a thrill of pleasure, whilst a felt disproportion 
causes pain. The theory of the "judgment" may there- 
fore be said to deal with the causes of the pleasure and 
pain occasionally associated with the exercise of the 
powers which are ordinarily engaged in the service of 
knowledge. Such pleasures as are found in the height- ' 
ened consciousness of mental life and harmony to which 
certain objects by their very presence awake the faculties 
of sensuous imagination and intellect, must be con- 
sidered to depend on a different law from the pleasures 
connected with the gratification of appetite, as well as 
from those accompanying a willing conformity to the 
moral law. 

Such a consciousness of spontaneous co-operation and 
natural adaptation of our mental powers is what justi- 
fies us in applying to the objects which occasion it the 
epithets beautiful or sublime. "We pronounce an object 
to be heautifuly in the strictest sense of that term, when, 
as imagination freely groups its forms and outlines, the 
combinations, thus evoked as it were in play, exhibit an 
unsought symmetry, as if some intelligence had guided 
the moulding hand of fantasy. Thus, beauty in its 

p. — V. ^ 

194: Kant. 

purest phase excludes all influence from the sensuous or 
symbolic charms of colour, — all that excites emotion or 
desire, — all even that suggests a use, function, or meaning 
in the object which can claim the epithet The mere 
form of the object, in the unexpected and imaccountable 
sympathy by which, as imagination combines its ele- 
ments, it almost leaps forward to harmonise with the 
requirements of understanding, is what primarily con- 
stitutes beauty. 

An object, again, is styled sublime, when the percep- 
tion of it stimulates the imagination to grasp in one 
single picture the mass of details, and imagination falls 
short of the task ; or when the feeling of its overwhelm- 
ing power, as compared with our physical weakness, 
suggests immediately, by way of counterpoise, the 
thought that there is in us somewhat which all the 
efforts of physical force are powerless to subdue. In 
both cases (Kant distinguishes them as the mathematical 
and the dynamical sublime) the strange pleasure which 
we take in what is too great for imagination to appre- 
hend as a unity, or too powerful for the imchecked 
buoyancy of flesh and blood to feel at ease in its pres- 
ence, is due to the revelation that we have a higher 
vocation and a nobler humanity, which commands the 
imagination by a vague idea, and keeps us tranquil 
amid the grandeurs of nature. Thus, by the very 
check given to imagination (which is the supreme grade 
of our sensuous faculty), we are opportunely reminded 
that we have a power of thought, or an ideal (rational) 
nature, which sensuous knowledge can never come up 
to, and which physical constraints or sensuous terrors 
can never overpower. It must be added, however, that 

Beauty in Nature and Art. 195 

for that reason the sense of sublimity presupposes, even 
more than the sense of beauty, a susceptibility to ideas, 
and imphes a culture of the moral sentiments. It can 
only be felt by noble minds. 

Alike with the beautiful and the sublime, the judg- 
ment claims universal assent, not as a right which it can 
enforce by argument and objective data, but as an expect- 
ation of adherence from all whose judgment is not pervert- 
ed by fashion or dulled by passion. The ground of that 
expectation must be found, — if we refer to our analysis 
of beauty as an unsought proportion between imagination 
and understanding, and of sublimity as the suggestive- 
ness by which a baffled sensibility pointed us to an 
invincible reason, — found in the assumption that the 
conditions of mind, which by their relation produce the 
said feelings, are identical in all human beings. It is, 
in short, the postulate of a common sense, or normal 
average taste, on which our claim for the universal and 
necessary acceptance of our aesthetic dicta is based. 
And this normal taste is not a fact, but an idea. The 
old objections of Chacun a son gout, and De gustiJnis 
non disputandum est, make it clear enough that aesthetic 
disputes cannot be settled like a scientific discussion. 

" Nature was foimd beautiful," says Kant, " when it 
looked at the same time as if it were Art ; and Art can 
only be called beautiful, if we are conscious that it is 
Art, and it yet appears to us as if it were Nature." Tlie 
words hint, but . scarcely express, the relation between 
the beauty of Nature and the beauty of Art. Kant, 
while contending that an interest in the beauties of Art 
is no evidence of an attachment to moral goodness, de- 
clares that it is always a sign of inward loveliness 

196 Kant. 

{schone Seele) to take an habitual and immediate interest 
in the beautiful forms of Nature. But the reason of 
the distinction is not germane to the matter; for the 
superiority of the taste for natural beauty is merely 
founded on the circumstance that, by showing itself 
where there is no admixture of social and other ex- 
traneous interests, it displays more unequivocally the 
susceptibility to beauty for its own sake. And we 
may therefore, as Kant seems to imply, consult the 
analysis of the conditions of art-production to throw 
some light on the beauty of Nature. Whereas Taste, 
or the faculty of aesthetic criticism, only contains part 
of the secret; Genius, or the faculty of aesthetic pro- 
duction, gives the true key. Art realises the beauty 
of Nature. 

What produces beauty in Nature may perhaps be 
a mystery. In Genius, which is a human analogue to 
the secret power of Nature, the conditions of the pro- 
cess are brought into somewhat clearer light. The 
characteristics of genius are originality, so that it is no 
mere result of the application of rules, — exemplarity, so 
that •its products serve to indicate a rule for others to 
carry out, — ^unconsciousness in its methods, so that it 
seems like inspiration, and suggests more than natural 
gifts. In other words, genius, though a personal and 
purely individual power, yet exhibits a universal law, 
not as a mere rule of imderstanding which others can 
copy, but as a living type out of which kindred spirits 
severally read the appropriate guidance for themselves, 
and yet understanding cannot explain the rationale of 
the process. Thus, though genius produces what taste 
can only estimate and criticise, they both idtimately 

Artistic Genius. 197 

throw us back to something inexplicable or inexpressible 
by the understanding. 

What genius does is to exhibit cesthetic ideas. We 
have seen that beauty issues when an object so stim- 
ulates the imagination that the sportive grouping of 
the sensuous elements is felt to be in agreement with 
the rules which an intellectual synthesis would have 
imposed. But for ordinary people it is only on especial 
occasions and with certain objects that they are able to 
observe this unprompted and unforced action whereby 
the sense elements spontaneously assume the order pre- 
scribed by intellect There are many things which to 
the ordinary taste are not beautiful ; and yet in many 
cases the artist representing them can make them beau- 
tiful, — can elicit from them a beauty which did not 
seem to be in them. Everything, says Kant, short of 
what is nauseous, may be made beautiful by artistic 
rendering. The genius of Art frees the object from the 
hampering and distracting circumstances which hang 
around in what is called real life, — that is to say, frees it 
from association with opinions, wishes, laws, and other 
conventionalities, and lets us see it as an object wrought 
by nature, expressing by the unsubomed consilience of 
its parts and features a truth typical and universal 
It does, in short, perfectly aiid o^. . wide range, what 
ordinary perception does in a few instances. 

Hitherto we have noted only the undesigned coinci- 
dence by which constructive imagination freely produces 
a result which judgment finds in harmony with the 
laws of understanding — those very laws which prescribe 
the modes of reducing the diversity of sense into \mity. 
But the power of genius to exhibit aesthetic ideas carries 

198 Kwnt. 

us a step further. In depicting its object, the genius of 
art has an important function in translating the concep- 
tions of intellect into sensuous pictures, which, without 
effort^ and as if it were naturally, meet with and recog- 
nise themselves in the intellectual conceptions. But a 
work of art must always do more than this. The pecu- 
liar touch of genius is seen in the residual features, 
which refuse to be reduced to a hard and dry concept, — 
in the additional material to which one cannot attach a 
finite, single meaning, and which the formal intellect by 
its prosaic renderings can never adequately exhaust 
Even a simple song, much more a sonata of Beethoven, 
a line of poetry, a picture — all have their power and 
beauty in the illimitable expansion which they give to 
the imagination, in the suggestion of a meaning deeper 
than the thought which can be formulated in words. 
Such collateral or residual images, which, after the defi- 
nite conception has been aesthetically or sensuously ren- 
dered, still prolong tlieir echoes endlessly through the 
sounding corridors of the mind, are what Kant calls the 
exhibition of cesfhetic ideas. Ideas, because they tend 
to infinitude ; ajsthetic, because they find their pecijiar 
expression in a sensuous image. 

It is til is (from the point of view of the hard intel- 
lect) superfluity in description which gives evidence of 
" Geiitf" and shows that the reproduction of reality 
in portraiture is more than a mere pedant could effect. 
It is Geist in the artist which reproduces life in the 
object, which presents the something over and above 
the mere confonnity of elements to a rule superimposed ; 
that something being the life and freedom which spon- 
^anoously accomplishea all that rules require, yet at tlie 

AH and Morality, 199 

same time beais the promise of an ampler realisation, — 
ampler, because it springs from a source to which limit 
is unknown. Genius, therefore, by the aid of art, steps 
in to pick up what the understanding throws away as 
unimportant for science. It shows that there is more 
in nature than nature as phenomenally construed ade- 
quately represents; more also in the human faculties 
than is quite accounted for by the distinction between 
sense, understanding, and reason. It shows, on the one 
hand, that the sense and the imderstanding are in fun- 
damental harmony ; that the latter, abstractly considered, 
is only the grim skeleton of that articulate and living 
system which imagination in her sensuous materials is 
spontaneously weaving ; and that both rest on a reason 
which manifests itself to the aesthetic eye in the products 
of sense, and gives the scientific understanding a prob- 
lem of expounding the connotation of these products, 
— a problem to which it is for ever unequal On the 
other hand, we are equally thrown back upon the super- 
sensible nature. ^Nature, in short, to the aesthetic eye, 
is not a collection of points of sensation bound together 
by laws of order given by the agency of thought ; rather 
the object speaks of a life behind it, of a " supersensible 
substratum " in the thing which is at no great distance 
from the "supersensible substratum of humanity." 

Thus in the beautiful no less than in the sublime, in 
the beauty of art as well as the beauty of nature, the 
act of judgment forces us to have recourse to the " un- 
defined idea of the supersensible," in order to explain the 
mysterious sympathy between our powers of knowledge 
and the nature of their objects. But there is one point 
still to be noticed To feel the influences of beauty and 

200 Kant, 

sublimity, to enjoy fully the beauties alike of nature anc 
of art, there are some preparations requisite. The effor 
and excitement of passion, and the restlessness of know 
ledge, must alike be laid to rest In either case w( 
should have a problem to accomplish, — something t( 
resist and to overcome. But to create or to appreciate 
beauty, all must be peace and harmony. In othe* 
words, what art gives, and what it teaches us to find i 
the objects of nature, is the spontaneous lawgiving ^ 
which, without sense of restraint, and without feelin? 
obligation, the sensuously imaginative being blossi 
out into endless symmetries, and builds up the far 
realm of fantasy, in which all works together for gock. 
and yet no lawgiver is to be seen. 

But, to Kant, this freedom from appetite or passioil 
and from the divorce between sense and intellect, tend" 
to present itself under one special form : and that wj: 
the consciousness that we are subject to a law impose : 
by our own higher nature, in virtue of identifying o 
selves with which we are raised above the sensible d 
of appetite and ignorance. Hence his view that t! 
right training for the purification of Taste is to devel 
ethical ideas and cultivate the moral feelings. Taste i 
at bottom a power of judgment which detects the em 
bodiment of moral ideas in sensuous shapes. The Bean 
tiful is the symbol of the morally good. 




HE terms Art and Practical have each a stricter and a 
jQser application. In the use of the word Art, which 
we have just been considering, it is employed to denote 
a mode of production which contains a certain personal 
siduum not amenable to rule or reducible to formulae, 
''n the looser sense, it is applied to any application of 
^nowledge to practical purposes, and simply denotes the 
production of an object according to rules or precepts. 
Similarly, the term Practical, in its wider sense, denotes 
the mode of laying down a theory, in which the theo- 
retical principles are translated into precepts declaring 
that, if a certain result is desired, a certain means must be 
adopted. In the narrower sense of the term Practical, it 
denotes something sui generis — ^viz., a law or direction 
which is not a mere corollary from some theoretical pro- 
position, but is an entirely original and unconditioned 
command which appeals to no external considerations or 
ulterior consequences to justify or explain it, but claims 
nqualified, and, what is more, willing obedience. The 
ommand in question is that of the Moral Law. 
Man is, in one aspect, a member of creation, a link in " 

202 Karvt. 

the great chain of nature. As such he presents himself 
with peculiar characters — some unique, others shared by 
several objects in nature. Under the latter head comes 
the fact that he is an organised being. Amongst the 
objects of nature, there are some exhibiting features 
which compel us to regard them as in a strict and pecu- 
liar way totals, with members in mutual interdepend- 
ence, and all contributing to constitute the whole. In 
the case of these bodies, which we term organisms, in- 
stead of looking at the whole as a mere aggregation of 
the parts, we have to look upon the idea of the whole as 
prior to the parts, and determinative of their form and 
their relations to each other. In this way only, and 
from such an assiuned standpoint, can we understand 
that solidarity which pervades the several elements of 
the structure. At first, indeed, it is a view suggested only 
by one and another of the products of nature, and even 
in these only by certain of their features, whilst others 
might apparently be due to accident rather than to de- 
signed harmony with the idea. But logic constrains us 
to universalise our hypothesis: we extend it — first, so 
as to subordinate every part in the organised being to 
the government of the idea which is supposed to under- 
lie it; and, secondly, to include the whole range of 
natural phenomena Thus grows up a teleological, as 
distinct from a mechanical conception of nature. We 
cannot, however, be too careful in restricting the teleo- 
logical conception to our human point of view, the 
necessities of our human intellect. We can safely say 
no more than that for our intellect, constituted as it 
is, the conception of an organised body is impossible 
nnJess by the help of an idea of design. The concep- 

Physical Law and Design, 203 

tion, in short, is an auxiliary hypothesis where the laws 
of physical mechanism fail ; it is a device of the judg- 
ment by which it seeks to explain the peculiar aggrega- 
tion of parts knowTi as an organism. But though " it 
is perfectly certain that we can never gain sufl&cient 
acquaintance with, much less explain, the inner possi- 
bility of organised beings by merely mechanical laws of 
nature, — so certain that we may boldly say it is absurd 
for human beings even to entertain such a project, or to 
hope that some day there may perhaps arise a iN'ewton 
capable of making plain to us even the generation of a 
mere blade of grass by laws of nature which design has 
not planned" (cf. p. 110), — still it must be remem- 
bered that the necessitation of the conception by the 
conditions of our intelligence gives us no warrant to 
affirm that there is a double causality (mechanical as 
well as teleological) in nature. 

The peculiar circumstance in our mental constitution 
which forces us to adopt the teleological point of view 
may be said to be the contingency of the relation be- 
tween a universal and its particulars. The union be- 
tween them is neither intimate nor apparently necessary. 
The particulars which are supplied by what we may 
call sense are submitted to the grasp of a conception 
which gives them unity. There must, no doubt, be 
something in the particular elements which predisposes 
them, if we may so put it, to the form of synthesis in 
which they are unified. But when we look at the uni- 
versal, it is clearly impossible, from any inspection of it, 
to say how many particulars it will contain. Given the 
generic conception of a rose, for example, it is beyond 
the human powers to predict under how many varieties 

204 Kant 

of individual form that genus may be exemplified. The 
abstract universal affords no key to the diversity in the 
particular and concrete perceptions said to be contained 
under it It is for that reason that, in order to explain 
to ourselves the constitution and arrangement of any 
number of particulars, we can only do so by representmg 
the idea of the whole as governing the process. Such 
an idea of the whole governing the form and order of 
the parts is what is termed a Final Causa 

But the very device which we adopt suggests the 
thought of an intellect other than ours, in which that 
accidentality in the correspondence of the particidar 
features in nature to our faculty of universals would be 
no longer found. It might, so far as the abstract under- 
standing is concerned, be possible that there should have 
been in experience no opportunity for the exercise of 
our faculty of universals ; it might have been that every 
single thing should have been absolutely unique, and 
that no sequence should ever occur twice in the same 
way. But, if the universal of himian thought has met 
a response in the individuals of nature, it seems as if 
the universal had been there already. In this way, the 
idea of an intellectus archetypus is brought forward, — 
an intellect, that is, which sees the universal in the par- 
ticular. The world which we perceive — the phenom- 
enal world, as we construct it out of given sensations 
thought under different rules or relations — would be 
represented as resting upon a supersensible substratum, 
in which the separation between concept (rule) and. per- 
cept (instance) is replaced by a concrete or synthetic uni- 
versal which specialises itself in a variety of forms. 

Adopting the standpoint afforded by such an idea of 

Man's Place in Naiure, 205 

a reason in nature, we look upon the existing variety 
of organised beings as based upon an original organic 
idea, which employs the mechanism of nature to produce 
new forms and vary the original type (cl p. 114). We 
may from the same point of view regard man as the last 
link in the course of such organic evolution, and treat 
him as the closing purpose of the organic process of 
nature. But in doing so we must not imagine that ex- 
perience will bear us out, and show how all the order and 
production in nature have reference to the aims of man. 
All that can safely be held is that, constituted as we are, 
it is inevitable for us to look upon everything in the 
world as subordinated to that end : we must, however 
we may resist the tendency, take up the anthropocentric 
position. Man contains the key of the whole situation, 
"illustrates all the inferior grades, explains each back 
step in the circle." But, What can man make out of a 
uature which is thus put at his disposal 1 What is the 
ulterior aim, the final purpose of man himself in the 
order of nature % It cannot be happiness : for not merely 
is the idea of a condition of being in which man's in- 
stincts receive their full satisfaction a vague and change- 
able one, but it could never be realised, for his nature is 
not of a kind ever likely to acquiesce in possession and 
enjoyment. As a natural being, indeed, man is bound 
to pursue happiness ; such is the law of his sensuous 
nature, and to that end all his energies must be subordi- 
nate. Yet all the while happiness is beyond the power 
of nature to give. The most that nature can do for man 
is to give him a preparation for performing higher work. 
Civilisation is, in one word, what man can get through 
the agencies of nature ; and civilisation, which detaches 

206 Kant 

a man from the limitations of kind, and confers on him, 
as a rational being, the supreme gift of versatility or the 
capacity for any aims he pleases, has two aspects. 

The first aspect of civilisation is the acquisition of 
capacities, accomplishments and aptitudes to perform 
whatever work choice or circumstance may render desir- 
able/ What purpose he ought to carry out remains yet 
to be seen. Such development of accomplishments can 
only be secured by means of the inequality of classes ; 
by a division of the world into, on one hand, the classes 
that labour — on the other, the classes that have leisure 
and room for intellectual aims. Amid the great and in- 
creasing evils which thus arise for the leisured no less 
than for the labouring class, there is wrought out, at the 
cost of individuals though to the gain of the species, the 
complete development of all the capacities which are 
latent in the human being. The aim of nature (which, 
however, is often not the aim of the individual men) is 
accomplished by the antagonism between men in the 
social state, — their emulation and Competition, their 
" unsociable sociability." " Man -wishes concord, but 
nature knows better what is good for his species ; she 
wishes discord." But progress by competitive rivalry is 
only feasible under one condition, and that is, that the 
barbarities of the struggle for existence have been curbed 
by the establishment of a civil order, where the collective 
power of the community checks any attempt to violate 
individual honest liberty. But a single state is inade- 
quate to this task ; the true condition for the full and 
free realisation in social competition of all that lies within 
the promise of human nature is the formation of a cos- 
mopolitan union of states, — a federation of the world. 

The Work of Civ^UisatioH, 207 

iN'othing short of such a combination can be the guaran- 
tee of a many-sided civilisation.^ Ikit, in the absoniH) 
of such a security for everlasting peace without, war 
still remains as one spring more for promoting the liighest 
evolution of the latent capacities of humanity. 

The second part of civilisation is the discipline of the 
passions, without which no accomplishments avail It 
frees from the despotism of the passions, which, though 
well contrived in reference to the animal side of man, 
are like chains drawing us in certain narrow and iixtul 
grooves, and embarrassing the free sway of reason. Ilio 
aim of civilisation, negatively, is thus to free man from 
his sensual limitations, — ^to make him feel himself, as lie 
. ought to be, truly universal, superior to the seuHoworld 
of which on his animal side he forms a portion. 

Thus there is a truth at the bottom of the ];)opular 
conviction that, without man, the world woultl Ixj pur- 
poseless. It is not, however, to afford Bcoj>e for hin in- 
tellectual powers, or to consult his pleamire, tlmt the world 
ezist& Unless there l>e something in man which luut tt 
substantive value of its own, something of intriiwi^; wr/rth, 
there is nothing to make knowlerlge valijab]<f, li^ithirig 
to ennoble the quest for pleaimre. llutt fK/njidhijij^ Vimf 
no doubt, in the human desire — ^but not in iltat tiftttirH 

I These Tiews, ezpoimdAd in the ' JtUoM ff^ a Vairtsmd Hlai/jry 
from a Cosmopolitan Point of VU:w/ znd in tb« eMfty, "Zuiu Kwi^/nt 
Fiieden," were eommonieatedto A; Comt« in * Fr^n^ii inrnhM/^ *A 
the fonner bj a jonng G«naan friend, ^Jtiatav v<« Ki^MhtL IV/m^ 
they were the onl j works of Kant wbkli O/nM *>b»tis i// Uay^r }ui//wu, 
they qualified faim, in a letttr of DecMnl^ 10, }^fi4, V> 4feii^^U tU 
German plnlaaopber as ''k itj0AMjAiynKuai W plus T*ffyr*j'^ ^ la 
philoeoplije pocitiTe,'' and t/> fdsiiu i*jr Ymio^ w* utf^tk^ tLan tU; 
credit "d'arosr syct^mifc^ ^ «n^ la <?ciboq>tkib ^Uaw^i*^ yu Kjoit." 
—See Littre, 'CoBBte,' p. V^. 

208 Kant. 

so far as it is tied to natural conditions, and governed 
by sensual instincts : not in so far as desire receives its 
gitification, and thiis borrows its motiv.- power, from 
without : there is a higher desire which is governed by 
an internal idea, by the idea of a universe of action pos- 
sible by its own means, by the view of each exertion of 
desire as a case of an ideal will, and therefore subject to 
a universal law. The chief end of man (and thus of the 
universe) has for its subjective condition that form of 
desire in which there is a habitual controlling conscious- 
ness of membership in an ideal community of rational 
beings. "A good will is that by which alone man's 
existence can have an absolute value; and in relation 
to it the existence of the world can have an ulti- 
mate purpose." " There is nothing in the whole world, 
ay, or even anything possible to be conceived out of the 
world, which could be without qualification held to be 
good, except a good will alone." 

The place due to reasoning in morals is a vexed ques- 
tion of the ethical schools. According to the Hedonistic 
theory, its function is to construct, from time to time, a 
teleological system of the world, in which the living 
individual who reasons is always at the head, so that 
the value of everything is estimated by its contribution 
to the sentient welfare of the single sell In such a 
system there are as many chief ends as there are human 
beings to form such a conception; and in each, how- 
ever the aim may vary in its matter, it retains the same 
formal identity under the title happiness. Every human 
being, to himself the chief end, is to every other a 
means. To be reasonable in this theory is to be prudent ; 
and the aim of a moral theory (in the hedonistic sense) 

Hedonism and Utilitarianism, 209 

is to lay down counsels of prudence, hypothetical im- 
pei'atives, or rules, which are binding upon those (and 
they are all mankind) who find happiness desirable. 

The so-called Utilitarian theory of morals, starting 
from this hedonistic basis, may be said to universalise 
it The merit of action is by the utilitarian represented 
as its tendency (in the most unlimited sense) to promote 
the greatest happiness of the generality. The fimction 
of reasoning in such a theory is to keep alive the per- 
ception that the individual is only a member of a com- 
munity of mankind, and to trace out how this condition 
affects every act and wish of the individual For such 
a purpose it employs the machinery of rewards and pun- 
ishments, and society is organised in such a way that 
there is stereotyped in the consciousness of the indi- 
vidual a habit of estimating every action by its results 
upon the whole community to which he belongs. A 
corporate or tribal conscience is thus, if not created, cer- 
tainly made an unmistakable and even preponderant 
motive amid the other desires of every human being so 
situated. By the help of these steadying influences 
from without there grows up an idea of a totality, or 
community, to which all his actions, whether they have 
or have not yet come under the regulation of specific 
laws, must be relative: of a system which gives the 
formative, shaping, controlling touch to his wishes and 
inclination. Identified at first with some visible organi- 
sation on earth, the conception presents itself as the 
idealised form of that institution ; and gradually the con- 
viction arises that the true universal of humanity cannot 
be envisaged under any particular limited form, but must 
always remain an idea — a citizenship which is in heaven. 

p. — V. "^ 

3X0 Kant. 

Thus, as Mill says, "tho ultimate sanction of all 
morality is a subjeftive feeling in o\a own mind." 
" Montlity," he continues, " rests upon tLe social f eelipgs 
of Mankind, on tliat desire to be in unity with our fellow- 
ureature^ whicb is so natural and habitual to man, that 
except in some nniieual circnmetances, or by an effort of 
voluntary abstraction, he never conceives himself other- 
wise thau as a member of a body." It thus appears that, 
according to the exponents of utiUtarianism, the only 
source from which moral actions can flow, as effects 
from caose, ia a sense of solidarity with humanity, a 
[lerception that we are not our own individual selves, 
but that we share in an ampler life, and belong to a 
. world which only exists in thought, — a perception vivij 
" in proportion to the sensitiveness and thoughtful- 
ness of the character." When asked, therefore, why I 
should bo moral, I can reply by aasigning no esternal 
reason. The unity of humanity, past, present, and to 
come, may be a fact or a delusion : it certainly cannot 
be verified by any analysis ; it is either perceived or 
not, and the clearness of the perception cannot he in- 
creased by logical argumentB, 

All moral obligation, therefore, is a categorical vn^-' I 
pemtive. It ia possible, no doubt^ to render s 
for complying with any particular law of morality "bj J 
referring to its consequences ; but clearly the ultimate, i 
i.e., the moral sanction itself, refuses to be accountei 
for in like manner. To ask why we ought to obey tl 
moral law is abstird, because any explanation would CA 
destroy tho morality of the law. " We cannot compl 
hend the practical unconditioned necessity of the mod 
imperative ; we can only comprehend its iucomprehHi^^ 

The Categorical Imperative. 21 1 

sibility." But that unaccoiintability has important con- 
sequences. As imperative it seems to be a stranger and 
an outsider ; as moral, it must be within us. The recog- 
nition of the authority of moral law is known as the 
sense of Duty; and in duty there is set before us a 
necessitation, — we feel that we are obliged to act in such 
and such a manner. And this sense of subjection to 
law, of limitation — this presentation of the moral idea 
as an imperative, and of the realisation of that idea as 
duty — ^is the peculiarity, according to Kant, of morality 
as human. 

In other words, the " ought " of morality, — the deter- 
mination of human desires and actions by something 
which is and is not ourselves, — is only possible on the 
assumption of a radical rift in human nature ; an antith- 
esis between a sensuous self and an intelligible self — 
a phenomenon and a noumenon. Man is undoubtedly 
a member of the natural world : even his intellectual 
capacities may up to a certain extent be said to have 
their province in natura But man, if he is to be a 
moral being, must so far look upon himself as a member 
of an intelligible or spiritual world. He must "erect 
himself above himsell" The moral law speaks to the 
souL Man as a sensuous, appetitive being, hears the 
command, which he may disregard or may obey. But 
his obedience has two forms or degrees. It may be a 
mere conformity in external act to what the law re- 
quires — mere legality : and it even may happen that it 
is obeyed, so to say, by chance, because a certain natu- 
ral impulse or liking has led us to do by its instigation 
what the law would have commanded. But the true 
form of obedience is not obedience, in the strict sense, 

212 £dni, 

at all; rather the soul wflling^j adopts the dictate of 
the moral law as a maxim of its own. 

It is onl J when ihe agent takes np this position as 
himself at one with ihe law, — as Tirtnallj a lawgiYei^ — 
that the will is moral Moralit j then implies that tiie 
will of the agent itself giyes the law : that the will is 
auionomauA, And yet, man as a natural being has 
not this autonomy of will ; he has, on the contrary, a 
will governed by sensuous objects of desire. His auton- 
omous will is an ideal will : by it he conceives himself 
as on the platform of a world where reason rules su- 
preme, whilst at the same time he cannot, as human, free 
himself from the consciousness that the ideal will is a 
law restricting and controlling the desires of the natural 
man. It is only the mystic who can fancy himself al- 
ready a member of that invisible kingdom : the honest 
man must always remember that the intelligible world is 
at best the object of a reasonable faitL 

So, too, with Freedom, which is only another name 
for autonomy of will Freedom, like autonomy, is no 
quality of the natural wilL It is only in the power of 
adopting the moral law as a maxim governing our will, 
and adopting it so intimately, that the maxim is thought 
as the very utterance of our own higher selves, that we 
arc free, — in other words, have a real causative origin- 
ality, — a power of absolutely commencing a series of 
events. Freedom, therefore, is revealed by the moral 
law. When a statement unconditionally commanding 
action is accepted by the will as its own utterance ; 
when the " thou shalt " of the law becomes the " I will " 
of the agent, — then in this high region, where the sub- 
jective volition 18 idenli&fcd vfvtih. the objective law, we 

Freedom of the WUl, 213 

have a " synthetical judgment a priori " which is prac- 
tical, or governs conduct But such a judgment cannot 
be proved by an appeal to experienca We can see if 
the action is conformable; we cannot see the heart 
We can argue at best by the light of the maxim, " Every 
tree shall be known by its fruits." 

The freedom and autonomy of the will, therefore, 
form the standpoint on which morality is made possible. 
They describe the qualities of that transcendent will 
whose voice is the moral law, and which the human 
soul by reason recognises as her own. They imply, 
therefore, behind the phenomenal human being a noii- 
menal reality — ^a will which can will what it ought In 
that " intelligible substratimi " man is free ; and this 
fact — ^the great ^^ factum of pure reasoning" — this ori- 
ginal and unconditioned imperative to act so and not 
otherwise — ^is something, as Kant insists, quite beyond 
all human intelligence; and the trouble employed in 
seeking for a solution of the question how this can be is 
wasted. Apart from such transcendental freedom, the 
theories which explain freedom of the will to a determi- 
nation by inward and not outward motives, succeed in 
giving man only the " freedom of the roasting-jack, 
which for that matter, when once it has been wound up, 
performs its movements spontaneously." 

The moral will and reasoning — for the term good or 
moral belongs to outward acts only in a secondary way, 
as presumably proceeding from such a will — is con- 
trasted with the selfish will and reasoning of hedonism 
by the conception in which it seeks to realise itself. 
That conception is found in an idea of all rational beings 
as a spiritual commonwealth in which, in the very truth. 

214 Kant. 

all the citizens aie free and equal Eadi individual (no 
longer a solitary autocrat^ as hedonism teaches, subordi- 
nating all others as means to himself as end) is a mem- 
ber (in thought) of a federation of all rational beings ; a 
federation where indeed his commands have legislatiye 
force, but only because his individual will is the very 
utterance of an indwelling law. Thus man, by this 
figure, represents himself as l^islative, — ^not as supreme 
ovedord, but as a free citizen in the spiritual world : if he 
l^islates, he is at the same time subject to the legislation. 
And even if in such spiritual world there be a Sovereign, 
His will is only the central unity of universal law itseli 
Descending from these high latitudes of metaphysic, 
and attempting to apply the metaphysic to human ethics, 
when we ask how we are to recognise this adoption of 
the imiversal will by ourselves we get but unsatisfactory 
replies. We can never present the idea of moral good- 
ness — the absolutely good will — in a concrete instance 
in nature. K^or indeed do we properly require so much 
Morality lies not in the particular things which we will, 
but in the way in which we will ; not in the material 
but in \hQform of volition. At least the form is the 
essential consideration, and governs the matter, as a 
condition j^ecedes what depends on it for its correctness. 
The moral law will be made evident in the form of 
volition. Coming in contact with the appetites or pro- 
pensities which arise in the phenomenal life of man, the 
practical reason or moral idea as a law of conduct limits 
and restricts their operation. Its essential force is re- 
strictiveness of the senses : in its purity the moral law 
only tells us that in every act we must remember that 
we are subjects oi umvetaa!l\a.\N, 

Tlie Moral Rvle, 215 

Its representation can be partly made intelligible by 
finding a type for the moral law in the world of expe- 
rience. By the light of such " typic of the practical 
judgment " we can see whether or not our will is good. 
The type is found in an aspect of natural phenomena, — 
the uniformity and regularity which characterise them. 
We have therefore to ask ourselves if the action we in- 
tend, supposing it were to occur by the laws of a nature 
of which we ourselves were part, could fairly be treated 
by us as a thing we could honestly wilL Here we have 
a formal criterion by which to test our maxims of con- 
duct " Never act except you can also will your prin- 
ciple of action into the rank of imiversal law ; " or, " Act 
' as if the principle by which you act were by your will 
■ to be made a imiversal law of nature; " or, " The principle 
on which you act must be capable of adapting itself to a 
possible imiversal legislation." But it should be remem- 
bered that this quality of right action is only selected as 
a formal or extrinsic mark by which to recognise it. 
The typic assimilates the inexplicable operation of the 
moral law on the single will to the analogous features of 
a physical uniformity, but does not therefore explain 
•the mystery. And it is only a negative test after all, 
in harmony with the precept, " Do as you would be done 
to," and with Clarke's principle that " Whatever I judge 
reasonable or unreasonable for another to do to me, that 
by the same I declare reasonable or unreasonable that I 
in the like case should do for him." 

On this preliminary condition of adaptability for 
general legislation all morality is based. But from a 
merely formal principle it is impossible without the help 
of other considerations to descend to particular and ma- 

216 Kant, 

terial maxims of conduct The moral law, as Kant ex- 
pounds it, declares only the sine qua non of morality ; 
it presumes us to have elsewhere become acquainted 
with the conditions of himian life, the natxire of indi- 
vidual man, and the relations subsisting between man 
and man, or man and woman. Given these facts of 
natural science, it steps in with its high ideal of respect 
for the universal But if we ask for explanation of 
particular right and wrong, and for guidance in particu- 
lar duty, the Categorical Imperative is more likely to 
give heat than light ; or if it be a light, it is rather the 
beacon on the hill-top than the lamp to illuminate the 
domestic chamber (cl p. 119). 

With this preliminary condition, however, the moral 
law combines a more positive precept, and obUges every 
responsible being to seek to the height of his power to 
promote the welfare of the world, including his own. 
Thus instead of Epicureanism, which treats virtue only 
as a means of happiness, and instead of Stoicism, 
which declares that the consciousness of virtue is 
enough for happiness, Kant, laying prime stress on 
conformity to moral law as the requisite ground without 
which happiness cannot be the final aim of a rational 
being, goes on practically to insist that the furtherance 
of the supreme good of humanity is the object of moral 
action. He is here in complete accord with himiani- 
tarian or universalistic Utilitarianism. But in stepping 
on this ground he is involved in difficulties — in the 
dialectic of pure practical reasoning. The command to 
pursue the supreme good of all human beings requires 
us to do what can never be certainly achieved in the 
conditions oi the T^Yi' -woijld. It bids us realise the 

Postulates of Morality, 217 

infinite in the finite. To make such realisation possible, 
it would seem as if we ourselves must be freed from the 
limitations by which our sensuous nature thwarts and 
misleads the will, and as if we must have some ground 
for believing that the course of the physical universe is 
governed by the principles of moral law. 

If our action, then, is laid under a law obliging 
us to work always for the good of the world, we 
must assume the existence of a being who guides the 
world in the interest of morality. Not that Kant says 
for a moment that it is as necessary to accept the being 
of a God as to recognise the obligation of moral law. 
That law commands formally and without promises ; it 
commands us, be the issue of our efforts what it may, to 
will sincerely and earnestly the promotion of Happiness 
— ^the chief good which nature has set before men — in 
accordance, however, with the rights of universality. 
But when we consider that we and the whole range of 
nature are powerless to secure the success of our aims, 
there rises up the need to assume, by an act of moral faith, 
the existence of a moral Author and Governor of the 
universe. Otherwise, with no prospect of victory in the 
struggle, and with the paralysing sense of a possible 
failure in the end, the human will would often be fain 
to surrender, and fold the feeble hands in despair. 

Similar motives appeared to Kant to demand a moral 
faith in the immortality of the souL The will which 
seeks to realise the chief good in the world must, if it 
is perfectly to achieve its end, be itself in complete har- 
mony with the moral law. But as a human will, im- 
mersed in natural egoism and subject to the laws of 
sensuous individual life, man can never in this world 

218 Kant. 

exhibit such confonnity. If the individual, therefore, 
is to be identified with the imiversal, if the single self \ 
must be visibly made an adequate representative of the ^ 
moral law, it can only be under the image of a never- 
ending approximation to an ideal perfection throughout !i 
eternity. The image, indeed, fails to convey the idea. ■' 
" Blessed are the pure in hearty" said the Preacher on i^ 
the Mount, " for they shall see God." But such is not 
the vision which Kant found revealed in the moral 
law. Like the lawgiver of ancient Israel, he came to 
proclaim the law in the wilderness, and his view of the 
land flowing with milk and honey was only from the 
lonely heights of Pisgah, The stem mandates of the 
scientific reason always rested upon him. " Theoretical 
reasoning,'* he says, " is right when, following only its 
own interests, it holds, like the Canonic of Epicurus, 
that everything must be thrown away as mere specula- 
tive dreams which cannot accredit its objective reality 
by palpable instances capable of being exhibited in ex- 
perience." The understanding — the faculty of rules — is 
too powerful a presence in his mode of thought Here 
and there, as in his aesthetic criticisms, there are 
glimpses vouchsafed to him of something within us and 
without us which proclaims the infinity in the finite and 
the universality in the individual But the glimpses 
are distrusted under the prevailing sense that all is but 
an effect of the human position, — the inherent limita- 
tion of the human view. The great ideal realities of 
life were acknowledged only as ideas which human con- 
sciousness required in order to regulate, round off*, and 
unify the theory of nature and the requirements of 
desire. Their clearest e^i\}hany was seen in the precept 

Conclztsion, 219 

of the moral law. But, even in his view of duty and 
morality, Kant, as Schiller said, always retained, like 
Luther, something of the monk. 

Kant left behind no system^ but he threw out sugges- 
tions of matchless fertility, and marked out with the in- 
stinct of genius the true form of philosophic problems. 
His philosophy is not, indeed, disconnected or self-con- 
tradictory, but its foundations are not sufficiently deep. 
At every step he carries us beyond his own lines, and 
hints at a systematic unity which might carry us over 
the breaks in his thought. These hints were followed 
out with various success by the succeeding systems of 
Fichte, Schelling, and HegeL They were his children, 
though he disowned them, and though they, like 
Schopenhauer, and with more reason and courtesy, spoke 
hardly of their father. The ^eo-Kantians, who have 
rent their master's mantle, and find his scientific logic 
adequate to the requirements of physiological psychology, 
are less legitimate disciples. But in many ways Kant is 
honoured. • Kant-philology even is better than the half- 
ignorant worship of a few Kantian phrases. For those 
who have learned Kant, many questions have ceased to 
trouble : many are bright with a light unknown before : 
and others are at least placed in a fair way for further 





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